5 November 2017

A quantum jump in the size and growth of food processing sector is needed which would be in sync with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of doubling farmer’s income and creating a New India by 2022, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said. For this, the aim should be to propel the sector by more than ten times in the next five years. He was addressing the Conference on Innovative Financing at the World Food India (WFI) being organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as National Event Partner in New Delhi.

The minister suggested that shortlisting of food products for processing should keep the viability aspect in mind Indian tastes and preferences. Price stability across various food products can be ensured throughout the year in India by innovative solutions around transportation and storage, he stressed. Such solutions have to be innovative and tailormade for Indian farmers and their markets. More indigenous and sustainable solutions with suitable quality control mechanisms are needed, he emphasized.

Saying that WFI has brought the focus of the world to the food processing sector in India, he laid emphasis on the financing aspect saying a holistic approach where the farmers are provided capital and insurance as well as technological knowhow can propel the sector. He urged the industry to ‘become teacher to the farmers’ by educating them with latest technology and methods along with providing finance and insurance.

The minister added that the government would like to play the role of a facilitator as over regulation by the government might act as an impediment to growth. He cited examples of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali where they are providing products at competitive prices to consumers and farming co-operatives in Baramati region of Maharashtra where value addition in food processing is being carried out.

Mr Madhesh Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services, added that income of farm producers should be kept in mind by industry players and policy makers when devising solutions for the growth of the sector.

Mr Prasad Gopalan, Manager Agri Business, International Finance Corporation, said that India’s capital market needs to develop further to improve credit availability for the MSME sector which is crucial for development of food processing sector.

Ms Diane Boogaard, CEO-Asia of Rabobank, talked about sharing the best practices from across the globe in providing credit to the MSME players in food processing sector.  

Other speakers at the session included Ms Mio Oka, Director, Agriculture Division at ADB, Mr Rajesh Srivastav, MD, Rabo Equity Advisers, and Mr Torben Huss, Executive VP at Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), among others.

Source: Confederation of Indian Industry

Illustration Photo: Worker canning sweet corn at Pratibha Foods Processing Unit in Sonipat District, Haryana, India (credits: Katrin Park / International Food Policy Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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