NEW DELHI: Over the next eight years, India’s food consumption could touch $1 trillion, according to President Ram Nath Kovind. Speaking at the valedictory function of the World Food India, Kovind said, “Food is culture - but food is also commerce. India’s food consumption is currently valued at $370 billion. It is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025, in less than a decade. There are opportunities across the entire food value chain in India.”
He noted that India’s food sector has “large business appetite” and the potential to generate employment for both women and large young population of India. It has all the ingredients to attract both domestic and foreign investors, he added.Areas such as post-harvest facilities, logistics, cold chains, and manufacturing offer huge opportunities, he said, adding that this is a major area for attracting domestic and foreign investment.
Focusing on food processing will not only reduce “unacceptable level” of food wastage but also help doubling farmers’ income, he noted.On a global scale, the market for Indian food products is massive, he said.
“It extends from 1.8 billion people in South Asia to a 30 million strong diaspora population, and to millions more in all parts of the world. As such, the opportunities in the Indian food industry should give you much to chew about. Please digest. And invest.”
The President said a focused emphasis on modern food processing can change things, adding that both investment and technological solutions are required to reduce food wastage. Close to 16 per cent of India’s guava crop is wasted, as are 10 per cent of the country’s mango and apple crops, he added.
Since women are deeply involved in the food sector, especially in rural areas, he said there is great potential for women to emerge as micro-entrepreneurs and raise overall female participation in the workforce. Exuding confidence that India can produce food products for both domestic and global markets, he said, “This would insulate both farmers and consumers from price shocks, and go a long way in ensuring remunerative incomes for the agricultural community.”