Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s food processing sector has emerged as a ”sunrise” industry and has attracted Rs 50,000 crore in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the past nine years.
Modi was addressing the second edition of World Food India at Bharat Mandapam in the national capital. The three-day event will conclude on November 5.
”In the last nine years, FDI worth Rs 50,000 crore has come into the food processing sector. It is a result of the government’s pro-industry and pro-farmer policies,” Modi said.
He said export of processed food has increased 150 per cent in the last nine years and the domestic processing capacity has increased significantly.
The prime minister disbursed seed capital assistance to over one lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) and inaugurated a ‘food street’ as part of ‘World Food India 2023’.
The event aims to showcase India as ‘food basket of the world’ and celebrate 2023 as International Year of Millets. The first edition was held in 2017, but in consecutive years the international event could not be organised due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Seed Capital Assistance’ will help SHGs gain better price realisation in the market through improved packaging and quality manufacturing. Addressing the event, Union Food Processing Industries Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras urged foreign investors to invest in India in this sector.
Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said the Modi government has ensured food security of the country and also provided a boost to the food processing sector.
He highlighted the development work done by the central government in the last nine years. The ‘Food Street’ features regional cuisines and royal culinary heritage, wherein over 200 chefs will participate and present traditional Indian cuisine.
World Food India will provide a networking and business platform for government bodies, industry professionals, farmers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to engage in discussions, establish partnerships, and explore investment opportunities in the agri-food sector.
During the event, CEOs roundtables will also take place with focus on investment and ease of doing business. Various pavilions have been set up to showcase the innovation and strength of the Indian food processing industry.
The three-day event will host 48 sessions focusing on various aspects of the food processing industry, with an emphasis on financial empowerment, quality assurance and innovations in machinery and technology.
The event is expected to host participants from over 80 countries, including CEOs of prominent food processing companies. It will feature a ‘Reverse Buyer Seller Meet’, with over 1,200 overseas buyers.
Last month, a senior food processing ministry official said the food processing sector is likely to attract more than Rs 75,000 crore investment during the second edition of World Food India. In the first edition, Rs 75,000 crore was committed, out of which Rs 23,000 crore has come, the official added.