The government is eyeing an investment worth USD 10 billion in next five years in the food processing sector, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said. “We have seen 40 per cent growth in FDI in multi-branded food retail after we announced 100 per cent FDI in the sector last year. “So after all the infrastructure is ready and the seamless ‘farm to fork’ value chain is in place we will get huge investment,” Badal said on the sidelines of a roadshow on ‘World Food India: 2017’ organised by CII. She said, looking at the growing interest in the sector, the government has set a target of USD 10 billion investment in the food processing sector in next 5 years. Further, the minister said exports have also increased and stood at USD 1 billion from April-July period. “We are working towards transforming the food processing industry, which will not only generate employment and result in better realisations for the farmers, but it will also earn us better foreign exchange,” she added. For this purpose, the government has launched Rs 6,000 crore ‘Kisan SAMPADA Yojana’ scheme for food processing, which will integrate current and new schemes.
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The scheme will benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct and indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20. On foreign partnerships, she said, there has been a lot of enquiries from overseas for joint ventures in the food processing industry, especially from the European countries, Japan and the Middle East. “We are getting queries for investment partnership from countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, UAE, Japan, Italy among others,” she added. The minister said the government has sanctioned 42 food parks and 100 cold chains, of which 10 mega food parks and 30 cold chains are operational. “We are expecting all 42 food parks and 100 cold chains to be operational in two years,” she added. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was present on the ocassion, said the state is working very proactively with the Food Processing ministry to make the sector a robust industry.
“Maharashtra will work with MoFPI towards enhancing sustainability in agriculture and food processing, will create a value chain for farmers, will provide backward and forward linkages among all stakeholders,” he added. The government is organising ‘World Food India 2017’ from November 3-5 in New Delhi to give a platform to stake holders to showcase the growing food processing sector, policies and connect global and domestic industry.