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FOOD PROCESSING

MoFPI receives Rs 1 lakh crore; Projects worth Rs 73,000 crore underway
Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The food processing ministry has received investments worth over Rs 1 lakh crore in the last one year, and projects worth Rs 73,000 crore are currently underway.

This information was given by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, union minister for food processing industries, while addressing a press meet held here to mark the completion of the four years of the Modi government.

Badal explained, “Between April 2015 and March 2016, the sector received $505 million investment. Between April 2016 and March 2017, the sector received $727 million, and the increment of 43 per cent and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow between April 2017 and December 2017 was $822 million, which means that it has overpassed the previous year’s figure, and we feel this year it would cross a billion dollars.”

“I would like to tell you that before World Food India (WFI) Summit 2017, investments worth $484.8 million were received by the processing sector in seven months, and after the event, investments worth $387 million were pumped into the sector in just two months. This shows that the monthly average before WFI which was about $70 million, has now doubled,” she added.

Badal added that the inaugural essay of the global investment summit, which took place here in November 2017, led to Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for investment worth $14 billion. Out of this projects, worth $11 billion are already being grounded by over 30 companies.

Companies including Metro Cash and Carry is adding 25 more stores; Siam Makro/CP Wholesale is opening three big wholesale stores in New Delhi and one store in Noida; Amazon has opened a total of 67 warehouses in the country so far, with 15 stores being opened over the last month; Grofers has invested in setting up of over 10 vegetable processing centres (collection centres and warehouses) and over $1 billion has already been invested by Coca-Cola, Britannia, Cargill, Tilda Hain, Emami, Keventer Agro, Rich Gravis, etc. since WFI 2017.

Meanwhile, the government is moving ahead in the direction of creating a sector-specific financial institution for the food processing sector, and the terms of reference for that would be ready by July this year. The institution, dubbed as Agro-processing Financial Institution, would be a privately-run non-banking institution, with MoFPI holding a share of about 25 per cent.

Badal stated that the credit institution would help in fulfilling the demands of the food processing sector, which is considered as a risky sector.

“We are in the process to create a new financial institution that will exclusively fund food processing projects and create capacity building in the field of risk assessment and lending to food processing sector,” she added.

“The request for proposal for the institution will be out by July 2018. It will be a non-banking financial institution and will be largely driven by the private sector, while the government will act as a facilitator,” Badal said, adding that there was keen interest in the institution from both national and international companies and banks.

The Union government, in this year’s Budget, announced the creation of a financial institution. The project was mooted by the MoFPI during WFI 2017.

Meanwhile, Badal stated that for project Operation Green, which will deal with the volatile pricing of tomatoes, onions and potatoes, a framework had been prepared for the scheme, on which MoPFI is holding inter-ministerial consultations.

“We have already interacted with the stakeholders and done the mapping of the clusters. We are also talking with the retailers so as to how infrastructure can be created to link the farmers and retailers to ensure the seamless transportation of the food,” she added.

On mega parks, the minister stated that overall, 25 mega food parks would be operationalised by 2018. Out of them, 15 have already been completed so far. Fifteen more shall be operationalised by 2019, and all shall be operational by 2020.

She added that all in all, the government was creating a cold chain grid to link every nook and corner of India with its 42 mega food parks, 234 cold chain projects and about 700 projects under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY).

“With the schemes of the ministry, over 33 lakh farmers shall be directly benefited every year and their number shall keep increasing,” Badal said.

She added that in the last four years, 351 per cent increment was witnessed in preservation and processing capacity of 15.94 lakh metric tonne (MT) per annum created by the ministry and 720 per cent increase in cold storage capacity and 180 per cent increase in the value of agro produce processed by the projects handled by the ministry.

Under PMKSY, a total of 122 projects were approved under three schemes, viz agro processing clusters, backward-forward linkage and unit scheme, leveraging an investment of Rs 2,300 crore. This is expected to generate direct and indirect employment of about 3.4 lakh persons.

Present on the occasion was Jagdish Prasad Meena, secretary, ministry of food processing industries, amongst others.
 
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