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FOOD PROCESSING

“Technological innovations ensure less wastage, more jobs,” says Badal
Monday, 09 October, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Technological innovations play a very important role in ensuring that there is less wastage and better hygienic food availability, addressing farmers’ distress and creating more jobs. This was stated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing industries, at an interactive session titled Nourishing the Food System at the India Economic Summit 2017, organised by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi recently.

She outlined the government’s recent technological initiatives like electronic national agricultural market (eNAM) and special soil health card schemes for farmers, and noted that the industry needed to partner with farmers in bringing the latest technology to improve farm productivity.

N Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister, Andhra Pradesh, said, “India’s massive food wastage can be avoided if innovative agri technologies can be brought to farmers.”

On the question of developing incentives for all stakeholders, he said, “Both the Central government and the state government will have to offer incentives to the corporate sector as well as work in tandem in public-private partnership (PPP) mode, so that new technologies can be brought to farmers to improve the farm productivity and also increase farmers’ incomes.”

Amit Mehra, founder, Reuters Market Light, said, “The biggest challenge for a start-up in this space is to have a sustainable business model for the long term as the end customers are small farmers.”

“To get the farmers to try even one new service is a big barrier. The government needs to create awareness about new products and also incentivise the private sector to offer these,” he suggested.  

Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director, Nestle India, talked about the company’s renewed focus on wellness food and food enriched with nutrition and health benefits.

“The recently-launched Nestle Food Safety Institute in Manesar will conduct training programmes on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards,” he said.

Jai Shroff, global chief executive officer, UPL, said, “While there are technologies available to increase farm productivity, there are no technologies available for increasing farmers’ incomes and that can only be done by helping farmers connect with the right value chains.”
 
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