New policy to propel food processing industry mooted
The findings of the just-concluded study titled ‘Food processing industry: Contributing to Make in India,’ conducted by ASSOCHAM and Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI) was jointly released by ASSOCHAM secretary-general S Rawat and director TARI Kshama Kaushik here on Wednesday.
The Union Government should evolve a ‘comprehensive food safety policy,’ with integration of international concepts and guidelines to increase farm produce supply for food processing sector to 30 per cent in medium term from current level of about 10 per cent, says an ASSOCHAM-TARI joint study.
The study also said that Madhya Pradesh (MP), with largely an agrarian economy is a potential leader and can further help in propelling growth of food processing industry in India.
But it is concerning to note that sector for food and agro-based products had attracted a meagre Rs 3,382 crore out of the total outstanding investments worth about Rs six lakh crore attracted by MP in the last fiscal year (2015-16).
MP is India’s largest producer of soyabean (60 per cent), pulses (27 per cent) and apart from being second leading state for rapeseed and mustard (11 per cent) it is also the third leading state in wheat production (16 per cent).
As such MP should promote grain and oilseeds based food processing industry in the state which accounts for about half of the total output of food processing industry.
Highlighting the multiplier effect of food processing industry, the study noted that increase in demand in this industry can lead to an increase in overall output of the economy by about three times.
Besides, employment generated in the economy because of a rise of Rs 1 in demand of the food processing industry is roughly 17 times the employment created in industry itself.
Considering that food processing industry has strong backward linkage with agriculture in terms of employment generation, for every job created in industry, jobs requirement in the agriculture sector increases by around 15 times.
In India, food processing industry is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports and contributed over 1.6 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014-15.
The food processing industry is also placed on top in terms of number of factories (16 per cent approx.) and employment (12 per cent approx.) as per data compiled by Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).
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