Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today called upon industry players to partner with farmers to reduce post-harvesting losses and improve quality of the produce.
Addressing the 12th Indo-US Economic Summit, the minister also shared a roadmap on how the industries and governments in the two countries can collaborate to make India the food factory of the world.
“Despite myriad challenges, Indian farmers have been producing enough to feed 1.3 billion people of India. Unfortunately, food technology has not matched this pace. 40 per cent food is still wasted at the harvest and transportation level in the country,” Badal said.
“To bring this down, industry must partner with the farmers, improving the quality of our produce and ensure supplement income for our farmers,” she said in a statement.
Talking about the new scheme SAMPADA, the minister said it is for development of small and medium scale processing clusters close to the growing areas of the specific farm produce.
She added that further investments in building cold chains, food testing labs and storage hubs at farm level will help in building a strong ecosystem.
Badal also emphasised the need to build Indian food as a brand in a big away as she shared how leading food retailers around the world are keen in manufacturing in India and taking that produce to their key markets.
Speaking on the occasion, US Embassy’s Minister Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs Scott Sindelar said, “Today, American companies are working with farmers to improve the quality of food produced by them. Persistent public perception that imports can hurt Indian farmers is a major hurdle in our relationship.”
Currently, US-India bilateral food trade stands at USD 5-6 billion, he added.