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Farmers are central to efforts in food processing: PM Modi

SNS | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the country’s farmers were “central to our efforts in food processing” as he inaugurated the World Food India 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital.

In his address, Modi said Centre’s ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana’ will create world-class food processing infrastructure that will leverage investment of US $5 billion, benefit 2 million farmers and create over half a million jobs.

“Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri linkages. This is a clear opportunity for global chains,” Modi said.

“There are opportunities in post-harvest management, like primary processing and storage, preservation infra, cold chain and refrigerated transportation,” he added.

“There is also immense potential for food processing and value addition in areas such as organic & fortified foods,” he said further.

Highlighting that food processing has the solution to nutrition security, Modi said coarse grains and millets have high nutritional value and can withstand adverse agro-climatic conditions.

“Can we take up a venture based on these? This will raise incomes of farmers and also enhance nutrition levels,” he said.

Modi will visit the ‘Food Street’ at India Gate to take part in the event that aims to transform food economy and realise the vision of doubling of famers’ income by promoting India as an investment destination for the global food processing industry.

Touted to be the biggest congregation of global investors and business leaders of major food companies, the three-day event is being organised by the Food Processing Industries Ministry.

Apart from representatives of 28 states, the event would also see participation of 18 ministerial and business delegations, nearly 50 global CEOs along with CEOs of all leading domestic food processing companies.

A massive exhibition spread over 40,000 sqmt at the India Gate lawns — where more than 800 global companies representing 22 countries and domestic companies will be exhibiting — is expected to attract significant footfalls, officials said.

This is the first time that India is hosting such an event for the food processing sector.