Updated: August 04, 2017
CHENNAI: India’s $600-billion food processing sector is set to treble by 2020, according to Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Speaking at a roadshow on World Food India-2017 organized by the ministry in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Thursday, she said. “Food processing is the only sector that can act as a bridge between farmers and industry.”
WFI will help develop global partnerships that would ensure that farmers move from poverty to prosperity. “It will provide a platform for global businesses to invest in India,” said Rakesh Bharti Mittal, president-designate, CII and vice-chairman, Bharti Enterprises.
The minister noted that while smaller countries like Indonesia and Malaysia process 70 per cent of their produce, the figure is a meagre 10 per cent for India. She cited lack of infrastructure as one of the reasons for this, saying the country needs to be incentivised for the industry to progress. With the recently released policy of ‘Kisan Sampada Yojana’ and a corpus fund of Rs 6,000 crore, the government hopes to raise food processing output by another five per cent including incentives, she added.
According to Badal, promoting food processing will also address the problem of food wastage, which she pegged at $940 billion globally — equal to the GDP of Indonesia.
She said that 42 Mega Food Parks have been planned with an outlay of Rs 2,100 crore “and this will leverage investments of Rs 10,500 crore. All these parks will be functional in the next two years, which would benefit almost 12.5 lakh farmers and 2.5 lakh jobs will be created”.
For Tamil Nadu, she said the ministry had allocated a Mega Food Park in Coimbatore with an investment of Rs 130 crore out of which Rs 50 crore will be given by the central government.
Source: The New Indian Express