The recently concluded World Food India 2017 is expected to provide the much needed thrust for realizing the vision of India becoming a preferred investment destination and sourcing hub for the global food processing industry. The event helped to pull in an investment of $10 billion in India’s food processing sector, which can help generate one million jobs in the next three years.
The vast potential of the food processing sector in India stems primarily from its inherent strengths in the agriculture sector. The country is the world’s largest producer of bananas, mangoes, papayas, chickpea, ginger, okra, whole buffalo, goat milk and buffalo meat. It ranks second in the production of sugarcane, rice, potatoes, wheat, garlic, groundnut (with shells), dry onion, green pea, pumpkins, gourds, cauliflower, tea, tomatoes, lentils, wheat and cow milk. The country is also the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices, accounting for 48 per cent of global spice trade by volume and 43 per cent by value.
Currently, the food processing segment contributes about 25 per cent to the national farm GDP and is worth approximately US$ 200 billion. In step with the recent initiatives of the government such as opening of more food parks, the food processing sector is poised for a giant leap in capacity across its key categories. With food industry leaders from all over the world professing their willingness to invest in India, the country is on path to meet the huge demand potential domestically as well as in overseas markets. This is bound to create immense opportunities for players, generate employment and give a welcome boost to farm incomes across the board.