Food processing now sunrise sector: Modi

Sector has attracted Rs 50K crore FDI in 9 years with capacity reaching over 200 LT, says PM
PM  Modi at the World Food India 2023 event in New Delhi on Friday | pti
PM Modi at the World Food India 2023 event in New Delhi on Friday | pti

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s culinary diversity has attracted investment in food processing, which is now a sunrise sector in the country.Speaking after inaugurating the World Food India-2023 meet, the PM said, “India’s sunrise food processing sector has so far attracted FDI of Rs 50,000 crore in the last nine years with food processing capacity going up from 12 lakh tonnes to over 200 lakh tonnes.”

Highlighting the health benefits of consuming millets, the PM said the country’s culinary diversity is based on the health benefits of consumers. The PM also asserted that fusion of technology and state would pave the way for the economy of the future and that scheme like ‘One District One Produce’ has given major support to the farmers.

“The government’s investor-friendly policies are taking the food sector to new heights in the country and the country has achieved remarkable growth in every sector of food processing industry,” said Modi. He also highlighted challenges of food security at the event, organised in New Delhi with an aim to showcase India as the ‘food basket of the world’ and celebrate the 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

“Today, India stands at the seventh position with an overall export value of more than $50,000 in agricultural produce. There is no sector in the food processing industry where India has not made a significant achievement,” he said. Touching upon the country’s initiatives in the agriculture sector, Modi mentioned the creation of an agri-export policy for the first time in India with all-round development in logistics and infrastructure.

Quoting figures, he said more than 100 district-level hubs connecting the district to the global markets and 20 mega food parks have been created.Amid growing urbanisation, the Prime Minister said, the demand for packaged food is creating a mega opportunity for farmers, startups and small entrepreneurs. He said demands for India’s many food produces have increased across the world, which shows food processing is a sunrise sector.

Advocating a women-led development, the Prime Minister said the increasing contribution of women to the economy benefits the food processing industry. “Around 9 crore women in India are associated with the self-help groups and a majority of them are taking a lead in food processing initiatives,” he said.
Lauding the country’s culinary diversity, he said there is as much food diversity in India as there is cultural diversity. “India’s food diversity is a dividend for every investor in the world. The food industry of the world has a lot to learn from India,” he said.

The PM also pitched for worldwide use of heath-benefiting millets saying that one day, the world will adopt it. He also informed the gathering that his government provides nutritional food to more than 10 crore children and pregnant women in the country.

Modi also said that India’s sustainable food culture has evolved over hundreds of years linked with food habits to Ayurveda. The PM also stressed the need for reducing food wastage as a significant endeavour in realising the objective of a sustainable lifestyle.

Participation from 80 countries

The Global Food India, started on Friday at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, is being attended by 80 countries, partner ministries, departments and commodity boards. The event aims to showcase India as the ‘food basket of the world’ and celebrate the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. At the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi disbursed seed capital assistance to over one lakh self-help groups and inaugurated a ‘food street’.

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The New Indian Express