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Ficci report unveils 13-point recipe to solve food problems
Monday, 01 December, 2008, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Knowledge Paper, prepared by FICCI and Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, was unveiled by Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Food Processing Industries, at 'FOODWORLD INDIA 2008' in Mumbai on November 13.

The Knowledge Paper presents a 13-point recipe to the stakeholders to give the Indian food industry the required traction and realise its optimum growth potential.

The FICCI-Technopak study has recommended the following steps:

Create new infrastructure and upgrade the existing infrastructure- There is urgent need to create and augment strong Infrastructure to wipe off widespread inefficiencies in the food value chain. The core infrastructure required for Food Processing Industry is -

a. Production infrastructure

b. Processing infrastructure

c. Distribution infrastructure

Successful implementation of FSSA- There is an urgent need of successful implementation of FSSA in its original spirit, protecting the interest of all stakeholders.

Increase public private partnership - Development of infrastructure duly supported by hi tech interventions requires huge investment from the private sector. The government needs to take all possible steps for the incentivisation of private sector to invite investment in creating the agricultural infrastructure possibly by viability gap funding through public private partnerships.

Market demand driven production - The Indian production system is still largely "supply driven". A paradigm shift is required in the production system from "supply driven" towards "market demand driven production."

Meeting global standards of quality - All possible efforts are required to be done by technology interventions, training of various stakeholders to produce the world class processed food products in India. The output should be able to meet the global standards like Global GAP, Codex Alimentarious and HACCP standards.

Technological know-how and support - An apex institution could be established which would inter alia provide for world class graduates and research programmes; carry out cutting edge research; provide for a framework for constantly updated curricula to sister institutions, assist and provide a linkage to regional institutions in their activities.

Capacity building on quality standards - The apex institute can also be created by upgradation of institutes, state agri universities and various other central research institutes in closed tie up with private organisations and other world leaders in the similar sector.

Technology transfer, capacity building and skill up gradation: Strong linkages are to be built to transfer the technologies developed in isolations at different public and private research organisations to their targeted beneficiaries.

Market promotion & branding - The Indian consumer's demands are still dominated by consumption of fresh food. Packaged and processed foods are readily not accepted in the larger portion of consumers due to various reasons.

SME support - Due to the low investment capacity of SMEs, sectors reserved for SMEs and SSIs are to be empowered with suitable support in terms of skill upgradation, assistance for certification, capacity building and connecting them to the markets.

Market research based offerings - The industry should share the responsibility of product innovations by offering "value for money proposition" and designing customised products to be readily accepted by the Indian household.

Promoting entrepreneurship and innovations - Policy level efforts need to be initiated by the government in consultation with farmer groups, cooperatives and entrepreneurs to promote Producer Group Companies and contract farming.

Organised retail as a key driver: Clarity on the policy front from the government on FDI in retail, regulatory framework facilitating backward integration would further strengthen the development of food industry in India.

Linking farmers to the markets - Linking farmers to the markets by allowing them to directly connect with retailers, processors, aggregators etc. The amendment of APMC should be implemented in the original spirit so as to increase buyer-producer interaction.

Single window system - There is urgent need to bring all the investor and industry incentive policies, regulatory policies under single window. This will not only remove the undesired confusions for the investors but will also increase efficiency in the execution.

The report was prepared to study the loopholes in industry and come out with specific and concrete solutions. Says a Ficci official, "Such reports come out again and again in the market and it is important that the bottlenecks are highlighted consistently for the requisite action to be taken. "

The 8-page report is based on the extensive data available with Ficci and Technopak and has received a strong optimistic preliminary response.
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