26 June 2020, New Delhi: Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Food Processing Industries Minister chaired the second series of Food Processing Edition of Exclusive Investment Forum by Invest India, the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency of the Government of India today. This was in continuation to the first investment forum held on 22nd June 2020.
Smt Badal informed about the Ministry’s new scheme to be launched on 29th June 2020 to formalise the Micro Food Processing Enterprises. The scheme would support enterprises in accessing the latest know-how, affordable credit as well as new markets. She mentioned that 74% of the total employment in food processing was in unorganized segment. 60% of the 25 lakh units that we were aware of, were in rural areas and 80% of these were family owned. This segment alone could be the future of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and could make the initiative successful.
The new normal challenges post lockdown needed to be converted into opportunities in the food industry. New countries are looking at India as sourcing hub as compared to the traditional ones from where these were importing earlier. Hence, it is time to ensure that the industry works at its full potential. Smt. Badal shared an example of one of Ministry funded cold chain getting orders of fruits & vegetables from new geographies.
Smt. Badal advised all investors to look at the low hanging Ready to Eat (RTE) segment as potential opportunity. She mentioned that the Superfoods of India need to be highlighted to the western world and advised states to share the most popular and nutritious local food which could branded and marketed through big retailers in foreign countries to target Indian diaspora.
Participants were informed about Government’s decision of forming Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS)’ and ‘Project Development Cell (PDC) in Ministries / Departments for attracting and supporting domestic as well as foreign investments in India. Participants were further apprised about the dedicated Investment Facilitation Cell of MoFPI at Invest India for handholding all investment interests in a structured manner.