The Centre is working on an ambitious plan to address the problem of wastage of food and other perishable items by linking producing states with states which have demand for such items and also ensuring fast supply to food processing industry which will help in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said in New Delhi on today after inaugurating second edition of Indus Food, India’s official, export-focused Food & Beverage Trade Fair.
“Everyday we hear news from states like UP, Madhay Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra of farmers discarding their items or doing distress sale of their produce. But this is soon going to change as the Centre has already started work on developing mechanism to ensure that states producing any item in excess is able to transport to it other states where there is a demand. The government will get involved in this process and become facilitator to ensure that perishable items reach those involved in food processing industry. We have already tied up with organisations like NAFED to make this happen. This will help farmers by getting them proper income of their produce,” Badal said at the two-day expo being organised by Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).
The minister further said, “It was a matter of concern that we are being able to use just 10 percent of our produce in the food processing industry. Over 60 percent of our population is engaged in agriculture but we are unable to ensure proper storage of our produce due to lack of proper cold storage facilities. If we are able to save our perishable food items, it will help our farmers to get better income of their produce. We have also decided to procure directly from our farmers to end the menace of middlemen. We have started building mini cold chains for this. We are giving loans worth Rs.50 crore to build such mini cold chains.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of Indus Food organising committee and Joint Secretary in Ministry of Commerce, Santosh Sarangi said, it showcases India’s best line-up of food and agriculture products to global buyers. The event is hosting nearly 800 international buyers who are in India to source their requirements of F&B commodities and products to cater to the needs of health-conscious global consumers. Last year we had 400 buyers and the show’s popularity is growing fast.
According to TPCI Chairman, Mohit Singla, “The most remarkable aspect of Indus Food 2019 is that it focuses on SMEs for export business by bringing buyers to their doorstep and creating business opportunities for producers of value-added and organic products. Doubling of farmer’s income will happen if the business grows. With the Indian government itself now working towards the identification of most prominent global buyers and creating their interactions with quality Indian suppliers through Indus Food, the benefit will percolate to the farmers. Moreover, the target of US$60 billion exports, as envisaged in our Agri-Export Policy is now within reach.”
“Indus Food specially promotes value-added and organic products. India is ranked 1st in terms of the total number of organic producers with 11 lakh farmers practicing organic farming. With the Government removing all restrictions on the export of organic farm products, the organic food export is sure to contribute in a much bigger way now, in meeting the target of US$ 60 billion food and agriculture exports by 2022, as set by the Agriculture Export Policy 2018,” added Singla.
Supported by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Indus Food is the flagship global trade show to maximise business opportunities for F&B industry. Indus Food has been developed as the World Supermarket, to enable rest of the world meet their F&B requirements. While during Indus Food-I, the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) had focused on creating an interaction of global buyers with the Indian commodity exporters, Indus Food-II is bringing about 800 international wholesale buyers, big sized food chains and governmental bodies from about 80 countries, and enabling them to decide which of the 500+ exhibitors covering 15 product zones they would like to meet.