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Approach:

  1. Overview of India’s food processing potential as Intro.
  2. State the opportunities.
  3. In conclusion, mention government’s intervention.

India’s food processing sector is one of the world’s largest with output expected to reach $ 535 bn by 2025-26. It lies at the heart of India’s Make in India programme, resonating with ‘vocal for local’.

Opportunities: As India is moving towards surplus in food production, opportunities are innumerable for increasing food processing levels. This sector is known for its high-growth & high-profits, contributing to world food trade.

  • Currently, India’s processing is less than 10% of its agricultural output, giving immense opportunities to increase processing levels.
  • It constitutes 83% and 10.66% of GVA in manufacturing & agriculture respectively.
  • to Annual Survey of Industries (2016-17), food processing accounts for 15.95% of total factories, and employment to 11.36% of the workforce.
  • The Indian market is fast evolving with major changes in consumption patterns, due to urbanisation, gender composition and growing consumption rates (expected to reach $ 1.2 trillion by 2025-26).
  • India has many key advantages in providing opportunities to ramp up production & supply.
  • It has a huge export potential. As per 2018-19 data, worth of Indian fruits and vegetables industry stands at $ 1469 million, which is expected to boost up further.
  • Other key opportunities include – technology transfers to reduce wastage, including adequate infrastructure like cold chains, processing units, etc.; using GIS database, Aqua-horticulture can be explored; fruits & vegetables processing can be scaled up; with increased demand for healthy alternatives, processed fruit-based ingredients can be leveraged; to reduce waste & shelf-life, opportunities in canning, dehydration, preservation and bottling can be explored.

Government interventions: planned infrastructure spending of Rs. 100 lakh crore and 25 lakh crore to boost rural economy have put food processing sector on a high growth trajectory. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana is a comprehensive package creating modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm to retail. Recently, under the Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises scheme, an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore has been approved. Buoyed by such actions, India’s food sector attracted $ 4.18 bn in FDI between 2014-2020.

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