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“Food Processing is all set to become the most robust sector in India to contribute majorly to India’s growth and the sector is all set to double farmers’ income by 2022 as envisioned by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, said Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, while addressing the media on the achievements of the Ministry during the last four years.

Badal informed media that four years back when she took over, food processing
sector was totally disorganized and the industry was apprehensive of launching new projects or products and committed projects were being delayed and shelved. After four years she has reversed the business environment and turned it into the most buoyant and happening sector.

Minister informed, “From dismal situation four years back, today we have investment commitment of nearly Rs1,00,000 crore which we got in last one year alone and out of which investment worth Rs73000 crore have started grounding. This is just tip of the iceberg that shall unleash its real potential in years to come.”

“The last government sanctioned 42 Mega Food Parks from year 2008 onwards and 6 years later when I took over, only two (one of them Patanjali) could get operationalized during 2008 to 2014. I can now proudly say that overall 25 Mega Food Parks would be operationalized by 2018 out of them 15 already been completed so far and 15 more shall be operationalized by 2019” said the minister.

“Four years back industry was apprehensive of the Food Regulator FSSAI and today FSSAI has harmonized itself to world standards. FSSAI has transformed into the most potent and business friendly regulator for those conforming to rules” mentioned the minister.

Government is creating a Cold Chain Grid to link every nook and corner of India by its 42 Mega Food Parks, 234 Cold Chain Projects and around 700 projects under PM Kisan Sampada Yojana. With the schemes of the Ministry, more than 33 lakh farmers shall be directly benefited every year and their number shall keep increasing.

Informing the gathering about a new financial institution Badal said, “We are in the process to create a new financial institution that will exclusively fund food processing projects and create capacity building in the field of risk assessment and lending to food processing sector. Request for proposal for the institution which will be called Argo Processing Financial Institution, will be out by July, 2018. It will be a non-banking financial institution and will be largely driven by private sector and government will act as a facilitator. There is keen interest in the institution by both national and international companies.”

Last four years have witnessed 351% mega increase in preservation and processing capacity of 15.94 lakh MT per annum created by the Ministry. Big-time increase of 720% in cold storage capacity. 180% increase in the value of agro produce processed by the projects handled by the Ministry.

Under the new Scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana, total of 122 projects have been approved under three schemes viz. Agro Processing Clusters, Backward-Forward Linkage and Unit scheme leveraging an investment of Rs 2,300 crore. This is expected to generate direct and indirect employment of around 3.4 lakh persons.

The Minister also gave a roundup of investments received since World Food India.

• First ever global investment summit ‘World Food India 2017’ organized from 3-5 November 2017 successfully created ‘Brand India’ putting the country on the global food map by positioning India as a ‘World Food Factory’ which led to MoUs for investment worth $14 billion.
• FDI inflow between April, 2017 & December, 2017 was USD 822 million
• Projects worth $11 billion are already being grounded by over 30 companies.
• Metro Cash & Carry is adding 25 more stores.
• SIAM Makro / CP Wholesale is opening three Big Wholesale stores in New
Delhi and one store in NOIDA
• Amazon has opened a total of 67 warehouses in the country so far with 15 stores being opened over last month.
• Grofers has invested in setting up of over 10 vegetable processing centers (Collection centers and Warehouses)
• Over USD 1 billion has already been invested by Coca-Cola, Britannia, Cargill, Tilda Hain, Emami, Keventer Agro, Rich Gravis etc since World Food India 2017.

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressing the media on the achievements of the Ministry.

Incubation Centre and Food Testing Laboratory at NIFTEM

Badal said that the Ministry will collaborate with multiple international laboratories testing various food products so that the food products approved by laboratories at National Institute of Food Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) get worldwide acceptability. The following facilities were inaugurated at NIFTEM:

• Pilot Plant for Ready-to-Eat and Traditional Food: It will help entrepreneurs to bring either new or improved product on the market by providing the necessary know-how for RTE and Traditional Food Technology. It has two main parts viz food preparation equipment cooked in continuous process and laminate Union packaging facility.
• Pilot Plant for Milk and Dairy Product: The pilot plant is very well equipped with the new technologies, safety measures, utilities, skilled manpower, licenses require to process the food products. The same facilities may be used for a ‘Hands on Training’ to our students so that they may aware the existing processes and practices adopted by the large industries through production and demonstration on a small scale. These facilities may enhance the knowledge of stakeholders of milk production system for effective backward linkages.
• Pilot Plant for Fruits and Vegetable processing: This pilot plant will provide state of the art facilities for storing fresh fruits and vegetables like CA and MA storage as well as refrigerated storage. Hands on training to start ups and exposure to students will be provided for tomato ketchup, puree, canning, spray drying, freeze drying, different types of packaging, IQF etc. Small and Medium Enterprises can also be use these facilities for their production
• Pilot Plant for Meat and Poultry Processing: it will act as an incubation centre where budding entrepreneurs/ start-ups or entrepreneurs can utilize facilities to tap the market while not having to invest in the costly equipment and machineries themselves.
• NIFTEM Centre for Food Research and Analysis: the laboratory would not only serve as a Centre for certification of food products but would also serve as a centre for undertaking research and innovation for solving the problems of the food industry and the other stake holders of the food sector. The Center would work in unison with the regulators and the policy makers for providing them all support for developing standard test protocols for various parameters of quality essential for domestic and international market and would serve as the National Reference facility in the years to come.

In her address the Minister also said that NIFTEM should develop its own brand under which it could market the products developed at the institute. She said that the products would be cheaper, fresher and healthier that other products. She also said that the institute would become a centre for excellence.

Speaking on the importance of the institute the Minister expressed hope that farmer from nearby areas are able to learn processing and packaging at the institute. She also said that students from NIFTEM do not just learn theory but because of the industry partnerships, learn what the industry wants.

At the ceremony, Secretary of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Jagdish Prasad Meena said that the incubation centre will incubate entrepreneurs of tomorrow and will benefit the local farming community directly. Senior officials of the Ministry and NIFTEM were also present during the inauguration ceremony.

Source: PIB