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Cargill to invest Rs 500 crore in India

New Delhi:

US-based agri-food giant Cargill will invest about Rs 400 crore to set up a corn milling plant in Karnataka, and another Rs 100 crore on expansion of capacity of existing edible oil plants, the chairman of its India unit said today.

Cargill India, a Rs 9,000 crore company and part of nearly $134 billion global group, sells edible oils under Nature Fresh, Sweekar, Gemini, Rath and Sunflower Vanaspati brands.

The company is also planning to expand refining capacity of its three existing edible oil plants in India with an investment of about Rs 100 crore.

"We are in the process of establishing a corn milling plant in Karnataka with an investment of around Rs 400 crore. The capacity will be 800-1,000 tonnes per day. It will be our single largest investment in India," Cargill India chairman Siraj A Chaudhry told reporters.

The proposed plant will produce modified starch for the consuming processed food and pharma industries. The company is scouting for land at Davangere in

Karnataka for setting up the plant, Mr Chaudhry said, adding that the facility is expected to commence operations by 3rd quarter of 2014.

On edible oil business, which contributes more than half of its revenue, he said the company would increase the refining capacity by 1,000 tonnes per day at a cost of about Rs 100 crore.

"The total investment of Rs 500 crore will be funded through internal accruals," he added.

Cargill India is also re-entering into branded wheat flour business with 'Nature Fresh' Brand and is also looking at other food commodities like rice and pulses. Mr Chaudhry also said that the company is looking at more acquisitions in edible oil and wheat flour sectors. Earlier this month, Cargill announced that it has

acquired Wipro's flagship brand Sunflower Vanaspati. The acquisition expands its existing portfolio of edible oil and vanaspati brands and also increases its market reach in India's palm oil and its derivatives and vanaspati market.

The company has 3 edible oil refining facilities in India based in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day. It also has 7 animal feed manufacturing units in the country.

Cargill is engaged in processing, refining and marketing imported and indigenous vegetable oils. That apart, it supplies food ingredients to manufacturers and food service industry, process, store, trade and markets farm commodities like grains, oilseeds, sugar and cotton, among other businesses.

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