In order to reduce the food waste, Harshimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries announced the deadline of next 30 months for making the 42 mega food parks operational across the country. Reiterating the government’s commitment to reduce the wastage of farm produce, she said, as per the ministerial estimates, farm produce of Rs. 92,000 crores gets wasted during harvesting and transportation.
Inaugurating the 3rd International Conference & Exhibition – India Farm 2 Fork 2015 organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi today, the minister said that the government was evolving regulatory framework for food laws in consultation with all its relevant organs that are transparent and asked food processing industries to also become transparent with their trade practices to take advantage of the new emerging regime.
“The only way through which the sweat of farmers can be suitably rewarded and food processing industry gain through execution of mega food parks scheme as it would substantially curtail the farm wastage and equip the end consumer with nutritional food”, Badal said.
It is because of this reason that the new government has focused on setting up of 42 mega food parks that will provide adequate remuneration to farmers for their produce and also facilitate faster industrialisation of food processing industries in India and reward its consumers with dietary food with well contained prices, added the minister.
The Government through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has created Rs 2,000 crores corpus through which the entrepreneurs can avail the finance at about 9 percent interest rates and even with 50 percent subsidy element to put up food processing industries in pockets nearer to farms so that the farmers and the entrepreneurs gain in equitably.
According to the minister, the government allows 100 percent FDIs in the food processing sector. According to a report jointly prepared by PHD Chamber and Grant Thornton, ‘India Farm 2 Fork 2015 – Making India Globally Competitive’ released today by the minister, it is estimated that the food processing sector has received around US$ 6429.15 million worth of foreign investments during the period April 2000 to June 2015.
Of the total investments worth over US$ 12584 billion attracted by food processing sector as of December 2014.
In his welcome remarks Sr. Vice President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta demanded transparency in the food regulations laws so that regulatory teeth are not mis-appropriated on any pretext.