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A zone that is special

The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Food Processing Park at Kakkancherry bordering Kozhikode and Malappuram districts has immensely contributed to the growth of the realty sector in the region.
– Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Malabar’s pride: The Kinfra Park at Kakancherry in Malappuram District.

The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) Food Processing Park at Kakkancherry bordering Kozhikode and Malappuram districts is fast emerging as a Special Economic Zone in North Kerala.

Situated just 10 km from the Calicut airport and well-connected by the National Highway 17, this park is poised for big growth in the future. It has immensely contributed to the growth of the realty sector in Kozhikode city as well. Kakkancherry is ha lf-an-hour drive from the city.

The Centre has already approved the 30-acre of land for setting up a Food Processing Special Economic Zone. From a modest cluster of food-processing units since its inception four years ago, the park recently boomed into a promising Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology-enabled Services (ITeS) hub.

“Some of the food-processing units are doing exceptionally doing well. The annual turnover of the companies overall crosses Rs.20 crore. However, the IT and ITeS sectors are yet to be flourish in a big way. Some of these are in their infancy. New companies have evinced interest to start business at the park,” says S. Ramnath, Managing Director, Kinfra.

World-class facilities

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam dedicated the park on September 23, 2003. The authorities ever since have been wooing entrepreneurs offering world-class facilities at this picturesque location. Most companies that have set shop are based on manufacturing valued-added products.

They have experimented with spice extracts, oleoresins, curry powder, natural colours and flavours, meat-processing, malted food, high-fructose syrup from cassava, ready-to-eat snacks, pineapple and mango products, canned or dried fruits and vegetables, breakfast cereals, nutrition foods, weaning food, poultry or dairy products and vegetable oils.

“Our campaign evoked tremendous response from entrepreneurs from Malabar. Most companies have established units such as vegetable oil refining units, diary products, organic vegetable importing units and jam, non-alcoholic beverages and ice cream units,” Mr. Ramnath says.

As many as 24 entrepreneurs have set up business. The total investments amount to Rs.50 crore. Around 500 people have been employed at various levels. Companies also deal with production of cakes, bread, mango drinks, flavoured milk, soft drinks and soda, rice powder and wheat powder.

A few of them have started business in manufacturing of polypropylene food grade disposable containers, films of micron thickness and above and flexo-graphic printed carry bags and pouches and corrugated boxes, says Sreekumar, spokesman of Kinfra.

The firms

Another wing of the Kinfra is the Neo Space housing the IT and ITeS companies. Nearly 28 companies started operations in the past three years. Together these companies employ over 400 persons.

One of the units concentrates on theft alarm and automatic lights for vehicles and electronic water-level controller.

Most deal with software development, web designing, e-business application, web-hosting application and business process outsourcing.

Computer training and computer assembling, selling and maintenance, IT services, management consultancy tools, animation, advertisement and designing, business management system software, IT/ITeS (ecommerce website and software production, mining and business intelligence website development, easy cook (micro-computer controlled induction cooker), software, information and communication technology solutions, services and consultancy have been the other focus areas.
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