India’s food processing sector will see a whopping infusion of Rs 1.2 lakh crore in coming years, of which Rs 74,000 crore has been committed by the Confederation of Indian Industry at the World Food India 2017. Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Sunday that the food processing industry along with government funding will take the total investment in the sector to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.
Maharashtra and Telangana governments announced their own food processing policy at the event. The three-day World Food Event, organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries with an aim to transform country’s food economy, witnessed participation of 60 countries and over 50 global CEOs.
Here’s what the government is expected to do with the whopping 1.2 lakh crore money:
The government is planning to reduce agricultural waste by revolutionising the food processing industry over a period of India. The country wasted food worth Rs 92,000 crore every year, which makes up about 40% of total production. Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the investments are promised in areas of food processing, beverages, logistics, wholesale and retailing, e-commerce, organic farming among others.
According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made the inaugural address at the event, there is an immense potential for food processing & value addition in areas such as organic & fortified foods, and the event was aimed to attract investors to strengthen India’s food processing industry.
What food processing is
Food processing is transforming cooked or perishable food ingredients, by physical or chemical processes, to make it marketable and for longer usage. Food processing makes the food into products that easily prepared and served by the consumer. Food processing typically involves activities such as mincing and macerating, liquefaction, emulsification, cooking, pickling, pasteurization, preservation and canning.
What Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to say about it
While addressing the World Food India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India aims to tap the potential of food processing and value addition. He said the use of technology will help the country meet higher food standards. The Prime Minister said that in India people are already using simple, home-based techniques, like fermentation which have resulted in the creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys & murabbas, and India has to capture the technology further with international investment.
He said that India aims for a big leap in the ocean economy, and the country will focus on developing untapped areas such as “ornamental fisheries & trout farming” with the use of food processing technology. He also said that millions of passengers consuming food on trains, there is a lot of scope for food processing industry to grow with them as potential consumers.
How it will help India
India allows 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in food processing industry. Indian has already been committed Rs 74,000 crore.The investments will be used to build food processing industries in the country, which will subsequently build synergy between farmer, consumer and industry.
Experts say investment in food processing industry will bring down wastage, ensure value addition and crop diversification. Moreover, it will also make India’s agricultural produce, which was getting wasted, not only fit for domestic consumption but also for export. According to ASSOCHAM-Grant Thorton Research paper, by 2024, food processing sector is expected to employ 9 million people in India and expected to generate about 8,000 direct and 80,000 indirect jobs.