Positioning India as the Food Factory to the world was the theme of the Food Conclave organized by CII in partnership with Ministry of Food Processing Industries in New Delhi on 12th May 2015.
Addressing the Conclave, Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Food Processing Industries in her Inaugural Address highlighted the critical role played by food processing sector in uplifting the state of the farmers who form the backbone of the country, ensure employment to the youngest population in the world, and reducing wastage. She pointed out that much of the wastage in India takes place at the farming, harvesting and storage levels unlike in the West where it takes place on the plate. Honorable Minister mentioned that the vision of the Government is to ensure that India graduates from being the largest producer of food to processor of food. She particularly referred to the efforts made by the Ministry in sanctioning 42 Mega Food Parks, 30 Cold Chains and setting aside special funds to finance new ventures. To realize this vision, she urged the industry to come forward with inputs, collaborate with foreign players and partner with the government.
Mr. Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, CII National Food Processing Committee and Chairman & Managing Director, Rasna Pvt Ltd in his opening remarks put forward the CII vision of realizing the potential of food processing in what it can do for rural India as IT has done for urban India.
The strategic importance of the food processing sector to the economy can be gauged from the fact that the sector contributes as much as 11 per cent and 9 per cent of GDP in Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors respectively. During the past 5 years (ending 2012-13), food processing sector grew at 8.4% compared to 3.3% agricultural growth and 6.6 per cent manufacturing growth. Given the huge production base of the country, the sector is very well positioned to elevate the agricultural economy, raise farmer incomes, and generate employment. It has enormous potential for creating export earnings provided it is given the right impetus in terms of policy and investment environment.
Mr B Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII National Committee on State Level Coordination- Agriculture & Food Processing & President, Blue Star reiterated the Honorable Minister’s vision of including not just the farmer but his family in the process of development of the food processing and take forward this agenda in the work that CII is doing at the state level.
Mr Mayank Jalan, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing & Managing Director, Keventer Agro in his Vote of Thanks acknowledged the continuous support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in championing the need for developing the food processing sector and being most receptive to industry views and inputs. He also mentioned that the industry will work with the government towards all inclusive growth of this sector.
Coinciding with the conclave, a CII-Rabo Bank report on Importance of Food Processing sector was also released. The report envisages the role for food processing in employment generation, contribution to the overall GDP and controlling inflation, promoting value added exports, promoting ‘Make in India’ opportunity and enhancing nutritional security. Mr Rajesh Srivastava,Chairman, Regional Committee on Agriculture, Food and Water, CII Northern Region and Chairman and Managing Director, Rabo Equity Advisors pointed at the need for stepping up allocation to the food processing sector given that it is labor intensive and ahead of several other sector in value of output. Mr Srivastava put forward the idea of setting up a Food Processing Bank in India that will have the right skill set to evaluate food processing proposals and improve availability of finance.
Mr R S Sondhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. in his address during the Inaugural Session pointed out that there are important lessons from the dairy sector for other food processing sector. Demand for processing and packed foods will increase manifold over the years to come driven largely by rising income levels and changing lifestyles.
In another important session on Agriculture and Food Processing: A Vital Link to Tame Food Inflation, Dr Ashok Gulati, Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) pointed out that countries which have high processing levels are better able to tame food inflation. He gave the examples of certain Asian countries where processing is between 20% to 50% and about 70% in USA and European countries. He also mentioned the need for synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries to ensure that processable varieties are made available and the right set of incentives are lined up to boost investment in the supply chain. Mr Ranglal Jamuda, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries acknowledged the need to create sufficient infrastructure to handle the large primary production volumes and create opportunities for food processing.
Speaking at the Special Session ‘Setting an enabling environment for creating made in India Brand’ Honorable Sadhvi Niranjana Jyoti, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GoI highlighted the fact that Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Food Processing Industries are critically linked and there is a need for mutual support. She mentioned that food processing has great potential to create employment opportunities for youth and connects with a large number of consumers, farmers and industry. She pointed out the need to improve budget allocation to achieve the development goal.
The conclave was very well received by all the stakeholders and saw participation of around 200 delegates.
You will get access to following Knowledge Resources by subscribing to the Digital
Library of this event.