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Need to reduce compliances for improving the food processing sector: Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS for Food Processing Industries

Sep 14, 2022

  • Govt-industry partnership imperative to improve marketing and branding of Indian food processing sector
  • Food processing can play a significant role as India aspires to become $5 trillion economy
  • FICCI-BCG report highlights 5-point action plan - 'A-R-I-S-E' - that can provide the food processing industry necessary boost to achieve its export potential

MUMBAI, 14 September 2022: Mr Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti, Govt of India today said that the government is aware that Indian food processing, especially the unorganized sector has major women participation, and we are taking steps to make it an organized sector. "We need to increase the pace to achieve the set goals. This can be achieved with reduction of compliances, more communication with the government and the stakeholders, finding timely solutions to challenges," he added.

Addressing the '14th FICCI FOODWORLD India - The Global Convention for Food Business & Industry', Minister Patel asserted that there is a need to enhance the marketing and branding of Indian food processing sector and products. "The government is fully committed to support the industry and find solutions to the problems," he added. Mr Patel stated that we also need to further simplify the existing schemes by removing the bottlenecks and industry will play a critical role in this. To boost the sector, he added that the government has already step-up incubation centers to support the industry and innovations, he noted.

The government, Mr Patel said is taking continuous steps to improve the food processing sector including introduction of PLI scheme for the sector. He further stressed on taking measures to not only cater to the domestic markets but also global demand of processed foods.

The Minister further added that the Indian food processing sector will be the backbone in achieving the $5 trillion economy target. He stated that the focus of the government is to ensure reducing compliances to support the industry and the sector. "There is a need to further strengthening the trust in the consumers for processed foods and the government along with industry have to work towards it," he added.

Mr Siraj Hussain, Former Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt of India said that the Indian food processing industry played an important role during COVID. He also stressed on improving and creating a market for the primary food processing market. "Unless we encourage the primary food processing market, we will not be able to establish a direct linkage of the food processing sector with the farmers," he added. Mr Hussain also highlighted that there is a need to develop new products in the food processing sector to solve India's nutritional status.

Mr Hemant Mallik, Chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee & CEO- Food Division, ITC Ltd said that focus on innovation, digital adoption and nutrition are key mantra for the industry to succeed.

Mr Srinandan Sundaram, Co-Chair, FICCI Food Process Committee & ED-F&R for HUL & VP-F&R for Unilever, South Asia that the Indian food processing is growing, and industry is willing to work with the government to further improve the sector.

FICCI-BCG Knowledge report 'Tapping India's Food Processing Potential - A Call to Action' was released during the event.

Key highlights of the report:

The report lays out a 5-point action plan -'A-R-I-S-E'- that can provide the food processing industry the necessary firepower to achieve its export potential.

  • Adoption of crop value chains by establishing of crop-specific PPP model: To provide support to small farmers in addressing cost and quality related challenges for the agri-produce
  • Reinvigorate promotion of Indian-origin brands globally: To enable the pooling of efforts/resources and allow for a consistent plus harmonized strategy for brand promotion
  • Institutionalize industry-academia collaboration to aid R&D: To facilitate technology advancement and new product development
  • Set up collaboration among private players for setting up and sharing infrastructure facilities: To enable sharing of setup costs involved and also leverage cost efficiency benefit from economies of scale
  • Establish sustainability and ethical norms and ensure compliance: To enable Indian food manufacturers in meeting the increasing demand for products that have been manufactured in compliance with sustainability and ethical norms

Since agricultural and allied industries form the backbone of the Indian economy, improving the gross value addition in the agricultural industry will be a key lever in improving socio-economic conditions in the country. For this, it is imperative that we increase focus on not just improving the agricultural produce, but also on improving the level of food processing and its export - especially higher processing.

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