The Budget decision to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail for food products produced and processed in India will play a catalytic role in leapfrogging Indian economy, said Union Food Processing Industries Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal while inaugurating the International Food and Hospitality Fair, AAHAR 2016
The average Indian spends 40 per cent of his income on eatables, and only 10 per cent of food grown in India, is processed. Recalling these facts, the minister pointed to the huge opportunity that beckons investors. She said that the FDI decision would give a boost to the sector, and would contribute to the the eventual aim of uplifting farmers and doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
Figuring out the big market access challenge that India’s farmers face, Badal said that she was looking at a market that goes to the farmer’s doorsteps, an industry that chases the farmer. She said that the 100 per cent FDI decision would usher in a partnership between industry and farmers, play a huge role in creating backward infrastructure linkages and plugging wastages, thereby improving the farmers’ prospects.
The minister spoke also of the e-marketing platform that is slated to be launched in April 2016. She said that the digital platform will integrate 585 regulated markets, providing farmers and traders with access to opportunities for purchase/ sale of agri-commodities at optimal prices in a transparent manner. Badal spoke also of the Government’s vision to tap the potential for organic farming in North East India.