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FOOD PROCESSING

Food & agri co Cargill to invest $240 mn in India over next five years
Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Cargill, a leading food and agriculture player, announced at the World Food India 2017 (WFI) conference that it will invest $240 million (equivalent to Rs 1,500 crore) in India over the next five years.

The company stated that these investments will add to the food safety and economic development of the country and benefit its food processing and agriculture industries.

The announcement was made by Peter Van Deursen, chief executive officer, Cargill Asia Pacific at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India’s ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) in the presence of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing industries.

The added investment will be in the company’s core businesses, including edible oil, cocoa and chocolates, starches and sweeteners and animal nutrition in India. In addition, it will provide employment to 1,300 people and help farmers across the country.

Van Deursen said, “India is an important market for us, and this increased investment demonstrates our commitment to the country and the development of its agriculture and food processing industry.”

“With the growing population and changing consumer trends, Cargill is committed to nourishing the people of India in a safe, sustainable and responsible manner,” he added.

“MoFPI must be complimented for organising an event the scale of World Food India, as it has let us collaborate with partners in the public and private sectors to deliver to our customers what consumers want,” Van Duersen stated.

Last year, Cargill inaugurated its first wet corn milling plant in India. It was set up at an outlay of $100 million. It also inaugurated a new dairy feed mill in Bathinda, Punjab, besides opened its largest business services centre in Bengaluru in 2015, which employs about 2,000 people.

Sharing his views, Siraj Chaudhry, chairman, Cargill India Pvt Ltd, said, “WFI has given the food processing sector a great deal of visibility, has brought it together and has created identity for the sector.”

“It has shown the value of this sector compares to some of the other sectors, including telecommunications, automation or information technology (IT), which are perceived to be weighty industries,” he added.

“This one has not got its due weightage because it does not have many large companies. But now it has shown the power of small companies. When brought together, they can have a substantial impact in terms of generating a gross domestic product (GDP) and employment,” Chaudhry said.

However, the transformation of the food processing sector will depend upon the industry itself.

“Transformation is a strong word to use. You have to begin with desire. WFI has provided the beginning,” Chaudhry said.

“Whether transformation takes place or not will depend on a number of factors. Not everything is in the government’s control. The way has been shown, and whether someone walks through it or not is up to them,” he added.
 
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