26 Nov : Food Processing Sector is one of the top ten sectors attracting highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows which has reached Rs.798 crores during the last 4½ years. Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, stated this while addressing the Economic Editors’ Conference here today.
Focusing on the tremendous opportunities and scope for growth in food processing sector, the minister said, a vision 2015 has been developed with an appropriate strategy and implementable action plan. This will contribute to overall national growth by enhancing farmers income, generating employment opportunities and providing choice to consumers at affordable price. The vision envisages to increase the level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20%, value addition from 20% to 35% and share in global food trade from 1.5% to 3%. This will triple the growth of food industry and will place India as the food factory on the world map.
Elaborating on bright prospect of the industry, the Minister said that government is to set up ten mega food parks this year out of 30 such parks planned during the 11th plan. He said mega food parks scheme provides state of the art infrastructure in the country on a pre-identified cluster basis, ensures value addition of agricultural commodities including poultry meat, dairy, fisheries etc., establishing a sustainable raw material supply chain and fosters inter-agency linkages for pooling of the resources for activities complimentary to the food processing. He said, the government has already taken initiatives and built mechanism through which these opportunities can be utilized.
An apex world class National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTM) being set up by the Ministry at Kundli Sonepat will start functioning from the session 2009-10. This institute will create world-class manpower in food science and food industry management. The Ministry has also approached Human Resource Development Ministry to include subjects related to Food Processing Industry in the Syllabus from K.G to P.G level.
Replying to the questions from the media persons the minister said, the Food Processing Sector Industry is growing at the rate of 12% annually. The efforts of the ministry have resulted in reducing the loss to Rs. 50,000 crores this year as compared to Rs.58,000 crores last year on account of perished food due to non-processing . Initially, Ministry will set up Food Streets in nine prominent tourist cities such as Agra, Tirupati, Varanasi, Ajmer, Hyderabad etc. The Secretary, Shri Ashok Sinha and other senior officials from the ministry were also present at the conference.