Chhattisgarh government is planning to have 200 food parks in the near future. The state has urged the PHD Chamber and its member stakeholders to invest in the state to grow their businesses many folds, this was informed by P. Arun Prasad, Managing Director, Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC).
The food processing sector is one of the sunrise sectors India. To understand the opportunities and challenges, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted an interactive session ‘Investment Opportunities in Food Processing Sector in Chhattisgarh’
Addressing the webinar, Prasad in his detailed presentation gave an overview of the state’s development, its priority towards the food processing sector, and few key policy initiatives undertaken to boost the growth of the sector.
“The state had a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rs. 3.29 lakh crore during FY 2019-2020 in which industry contributes 46.19 percent while agriculture and allied sectors contribute 15 percent. Paddy, coarse grains, maize, wheat, groundnut, pulses, and oilseeds are the major crops in the state with abundance of horticulture products such as mango, banana, guava, papaya, tomato, chilli, and other spices, said Prasad.
Highlighting the advantages of doing business in Chhattisgarh, which includes Ease of Doing Business, pan-India connectivity, and agro-ecology, Prasad talked about the growth potential in the dairy and milk industry which can be extended to the nation.
Chhattisgarh is also known as the rice bowl of the nation. Poultry, meat and fishery are the core industries that have been at the forefront in exportation, added Prasad.
He further highlighted the investment opportunities in the food processing sector which included processing (agro and horticulture produce); cold chain; fertiliser manufacturing; agri equipment manufacturing; dairy; animal feed production, poultry, meat and other allied sectors. He discussed the industrial infrastructure support and growth opportunities which can be explored in the future.
Prasad discussed the industrial policy highlights which were categorisation of industries in terms of general, priority and high priority; focusing on block-level development of industries across sectors; ensuring regional balanced growth by categorising blocks as developed areas, developing areas, backward areas, and most backward areas; giving high priority for setting food parts at block level; development of herbal and minor forest produce based industry and many more. He also discussed the benefits of industrial policy and land bank available in the state.
SS Bajaj, Additional MD, Department of Minor Forest Produce, Govt of Chhattisgarh gave an in-depth presentation about the state’s plan on minor forest produce such as various forest species in the form of fruits, seeds, leaves, barks, roots, flowers, and grasses, including the entire plant of medicinal herbs and shrubs.
The vision is to facilitate the family for minor forest produce and through self-help groups (SHG) to process at the district level and facilitate the industry to come and set up their industries, said Bajaj.
He discussed the different seeds which are targeted in this scheme and targeting herbal medicines which can help in the future developments of the scheme. He discussed the recent development in the scheme.
Manoj Kumar Pingua, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industries, Government of Chhattisgarh shared insights about the food processing sector, especially in reserved food crops, the growth potential of doing agriculture business in Chhattisgarh and the infrastructure support which can boost the food processing industry.
Gunjan Goela, Vice President, Slow Food Chefs Alliance, Corporate Food Consultant, while moderating the session mentioned that Chhattisgarh has been a food basket for India with its people maintaining its landmass as forest cover which makes it natural friendly. She mentioned the potential of Mahua seeds which have health and business benefits.
Seungchang Ha, Chief Representative (India), Chungcheongnam-do Economic promotion Agency deliberated about the Chungcheongnam-do, its working and business expansion plans through online and offline works. He discussed the future of agriculture food processing in India and the world. He talked about joint ventures, industrial collations, and active foreign investments.
Gobind Ram Choudhary, Co-Chairman, Agribusiness and Food Processing Committee, PHD Chamber in his welcome address talked about the benefits being given by the government in terms of subsidy and others. He said that due to COVID-19, food had been in the essential service that has tremendous export and business development opportunities.
Shashank Rastogi, Chairman, Chhattisgarh Chapter, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry while giving an introduction to all the delegates gave an industry outlook, its challenges, and opportunities.