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FOOD PROCESSING

Badal suggests integrated cold chain projects to fast-track Indian economy
Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
Addressing promoters of newly-allotted integrated cola chain projects in New Delhi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing industries, stressed on the need to set up integrated cold chain projects on a war footing across India for the all-round development of the country and to fast-track the transformation of its economy.

The ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) will soon launch a revamped National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) called the Scheme for Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA). This would help it to achieve its aim of completing and integrating the ongoing mega food parks and cold chain projects.

Besides, the ministry would also launch three new schemes, namely creation/expansion of food processing and preservation capacities, new agro-processing clusters and backward and forward linkages, to further strengthenthe food processing industries in the country.

Badal said, “Given the challenge of post-harvest losses, which currently are estimated to be worth Rs92,000 crore annually, the facilities set up by MoFPI, like 42 mega food parks and 234 cold chain projects (including 101 newly-sanctioned cold chain projects), have created preserving and processing capacity of 139 lakh metric tonneof agro produce with a value of Rs35,000 crore, which means that setting up of these cold chain projects and mega food parks already undertaken would reduce post-harvest losses substantially.”

She added, “Apart from reducing wastage, the projects will generate employment for 3.5 lakh persons and benefit 15 lakh farmers.”

The minister also informed about the steps being taken by the ministry to build a strong, efficient and integrated supply chain for agri-produce involving backward linkages with the farm, processing to add value to the farmer’s produce and creation of forward linkages through organised modern retail.
 
Formulation and implementation of a National Food Processing Policy is also underconsideration by the ministry. The vision of the policy is to position India as a world food factory by creating an enabling framework for the sustainable growth of the food processing industry. The policy is based on the principle of inclusive growth in partnership with the states with the overarching goal of providing remunerative returns to farmers.

The model Food Processing Policy focuses on development of clusters based on production strength of different regions to enable a targeted and coordinated approach for developing the food processing industry and bringing down wastages.

As a step in this direction, MoFPI proposes to undertake the mapping of areas of fruits, vegetables and other perishable products in different states with the target to set up agro processing clusters.
 
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