The Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal launched a report focusing on the availability of fruits and vegetables pan India at the Yes Bank-MoFPI National Conference on Spurring financing & Investments in the Food Processing Sector.
Badal said, “It can be used as a handbook of some of the best available data today on Fruits and Vegetable availability across the nation. Agricultural land is reducing but mouths to be fed are increasing so we must grow more, from less, to feed more – that is where food processing comes in, and if there is more availability, there will be less inflation. We need to aim for higher standards in food processing to guard the population against inflation.”
Badal underscored the need to prepare a National Food Grid. She said that the first step towards this Grid is this “Fruits & Vegetables Availability Maps of India Booklet” which puts forth an overview of the production and availability scenario of key food commodities in the country. The booklet gives an insight of what is grown where as well as the surplus and deficit status of various commodities at the national as well as state levels.
Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said that the food processing sector is growing at an annual rate of 8.4 per cent and also provides great opportunities for FDI. She said that last year the sector attracted an investment of USD 4 billion.
Sharing his thoughts at the conference, Suresh Prabhu, Railways Minister, said, “We must bring more investment and finance into the Food Processing industry to give the sector a fillip. There must be an integrated approach to boosting agri-growth. We are also working on developing a multi-model transport system in India, which will help transportation of food produce across the country, thereby enabling better price discovery for farmers and agriculturists.”