Robust processing infrastructure can help India curb the problem of food wastage
Robust processing infrastructure can also help India curb the problem of food wastage. This was the view of Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal who was addressing the press consequent to the inauguration of IndusFood at Greater Noida.
She said Reverse Buyer-Seller meets such as IndusFood have a very critical role to play in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for discovering measures to double farmers’ income. “This will also involve integrating the Indian market with global buyers”, she added.
“Events like IndusFood and World Food India have helped us make a mark on the global scale. The FDI in the food processing industry has increased substantially. Since last year itself, it has almost doubled.”
Under the present government, the Food Processing Ministry has focused on infrastructure development through building up of a large number of food parks across the country.
The minister also expressed confidence that all 40 food parks would be ready and functional by 2019- end. “Further we’ve additional schemes under Operation Green. Food retailers today are tying up with farmers directly through which farmers can apply value-addition and are moving towards agro-processing which will help in improving their condition,” she added.
Underscoring the success of last year’s IndusFood, she mentioned that it had helped put India on the global map as an important manufacturing hub of food products. “It is mega-events like these that help overseas retailers, buyers and leaders come and see the huge market base and the developing infrastructure. It helps in creating the necessary confidence to encourage them to invest and trade with the country,” she asserted.
In reply to a specific query on the problem of food wastage, the minister said that the development of a robust processing infrastructure would also help in combating the problem of food wastage. “By focussing on infrastructure, we can substantially reduce food wastage. The more we process, the less food would be left for wastage,” she said.
According to a report, up to 40 per cent of the food produced in India is bound to get wasted. About 21 million tonnes of India’s entire wheat produce are wasted and 50 per cent of all the food across the world meets the same fate. Such a situation raises a concern that food ‘never reaches the needy’.