THE share of processed foods in India’s agricultural exports has grown from 13 to 23 per cent in the last nine years, marking an overall increase of 150 per cent of exported processed foods, observed Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the second edition of World Food India.
“Today, India stands at the seventh position with an overall export value of more than $50,000 million in agricultural produce,” he said.
Celebrating the International Year of Millets and to bring global food processing industry together, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries organised the World Food India 2023 between November 3 and 5 at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi.
The first edition of World Food India was launched in 2017 with the objective of introducing the world to rich Indian food culture as well as promoting investments in the diverse food processing sector of the country.
A sunrise industry
In his speech, the PM noted that India’s food processing sector has emerged as a ‘sunrise’ industry, and has attracted Rs 50,000 crore in foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2014. “The investor-friendly policies by the Government are taking the food sector to new heights,” he stated.
Top companies reaffirmed their faith in the Government as reports said that India Inc has made strong commitments for investments in the food processing ecosystem during World Food India.
Some of the key players included Mondele India, ITC, Innobev, Nedspice, Ananda, General Mills, and Ab Inbev, among others, reports added.
The Prime Minister hailed the technology and startup pavilion, and the Food Street at the event and said the fusion of technology and taste will pave the way for the economy of the future.
Food security challenge
In the changing world of today, the Prime Minister highlighted food security as one of the prime challenges and underlined the significance of World Food India 2023.
He also shared that work is currently underway on thousands of projects under the Agri-Infra Fund for post-harvest infrastructure with an approximate investment of more than Rs 50,000 crores while processing infrastructure in the fisheries and animal husbandry sector is also being encouraged with an investment of thousands of crores.
During the event, PM Modi disbursed Seed Capital Assistance for over one lakh members from Self Help Groups.
The rapid growth in India’s food processing industry in the last nine years was possible with the creation of an agri-export policy, the development of nationwide logistics and infrastructure, creation of more than 100 district-level hubs connecting them to global markets, increase in the number of Mega Food Parks from two to more than 20, and a 15-time rise in India’s food processing capacity since 2014 to over than 200 lakh metric tonnes now, the PM stressed.