The Improvement in road connectivity that has taken place over the past few years has helped reduce agri-wastage in the country said Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India at the Conference on Opportunities in Infrastructure, Logistics, Technology & Equipment at the World Food India being organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as National Partner in New Delhi.
Mr. Gadkari stated that prior to 2014, road construction in India was proceeding at a pace of around 2 km / day. This has now increased to 28 km / day. The government was giving a further boost to the road transportation sector with the Bharatmala project. Logistics parks were being created on the outskirts of cities to facilitate movement of goods. With GST being implemented, the barriers to the free movement of goods had been dismantled. The focus of the Government now was on the development of coastal and inland waterways and linking of rivers among others, he added.
Mr. D S Gangwar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries in his presentation stated that there is a huge gap in food processing infrastructure such as modern pack houses – where the gap was about 95%, ripening chambers – where the gap was about 90% and reefer trucks. He stated that India was importing these machinery worth USD 169 billion. The machinery sector presented an opportunity of USD 34 billion by 2025, he added. He invited industry from both India and overseas to take advantage of this opportunity.
Two panel discussions which followed focused on Opportunities in Infrastructure and Logistics in Food Processing Sector and Opportunities and Technologies and Equipment in the Food Processing Sector.
The discussants at the Panel Discussions highlighted the need to improve the network of collection centres for milk in the villages as well as set up cooling centres there, the need to use technology to maintain the ambient temperature of food during transportation, the need to improve the supply of reefer trucks.
In addition, it was opined that there was a need to improve the energy efficiency of food processing equipment and focus on technology improvement in the packaging industry. It was also highlighted that in addition to developing the cold chain, there was a need to train people who would maintain the cold chain network.
November 4, 2017