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Mentioning India’s 30 ranks jump in the World Bank Doing Business rankings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the global investors to India’s food processing sector. The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of World Food India Expo in New Delhi today. The expo is attended by the CEOs of food processing industry from 160 countries along with Indian food industry counterparts.
“India is today one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The Goods and Services Tax, or GST, has eliminated the multiplicity of taxes. India has jumped 30 ranks this year, in the World Bank Doing Business rankings. This is the highest ever improvement for India, and the highest jump for any country this year,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the gathering.
“The unique portal – Nivesh Bandhu – or "investor's friend" – that we have just launched, brings together information on central and state government policies, and incentives provided for the food processing sector. It maps resources upto the local level, with processing requirements. It is also a platform for business networking, for farmers, processors, traders, and logistics operators,” he said.
Addressing the industry, the Prime Minister further said, “Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri linkages. Many international companies in India have taken a lead in contract farming initiatives. This is a clear opportunity for global super-market chains considering India as a major outsourcing hub.”
“On one hand, there are opportunities in post-harvest management, like primary processing and storage, preservation infrastructure, cold chain, and refrigerated transportation. On the other hand, there is immense potential for food processing and value addition, especially in niche areas such as organic and fortified foods,” Modi added.
“Increasing urbanisation, and a growing middle class, are resulting in an ever-growing demand for wholesome, processed food. Let me share just one statistic. Over a million passengers have a meal on a train in India, every single day. Each one of them, is a potential customer for the food processing industry. Such is the scale of opportunity that is waiting to be tapped, he further said.
“Recently, we launched a national level programme, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, to create world-class food processing infrastructure. This is expected to leverage investment of five billion US dollars, benefit two million farmers and generate more than half a million jobs over the next three years,” the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting about Mega Food Parks, he said, “The creation of Mega Food Parks is a key component of this scheme. Through these food parks, we aim to link agro-processing clusters with key production centres. This will offer immense value proposition in crops such as potato, pineapple, oranges and apples. Farmer groups are being encouraged to set up units in these parks, thereby reducing wastage and transportation costs, and creating new jobs. Nine such parks are already operational, and more than thirty others are in the process of coming up across the country.”
“In the true spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism, our State Governments have also aligned with the efforts of the Union Government to simplify processes and procedures. Many States have come up with attractive food processing policies to attract investment,” Modi added.
Highlighting the sectoral growth in the food sector, the Prime Minister said, “Each sub sector of the food industry in India offers immense opportunity. The dairy sector has emerged as a vital area for the rural economy. We now aim to take this to the next level by increasing production levels of multiple products based on milk.”
“India contributes over six percent of global fish production. We are the world’s second largest exporter of shrimps. India exports fish and fisheries products to about 95 countries. We aim to make a big leap in the ocean economy through the blue revolution. Our focus is on development of untapped areas, such as ornamental fisheries and trout farming. We also wish to explore new areas, like pearl farming,” he further added.