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FDI in food processing sector rose by 24 % in 2017-18: Year-Ender 2018
Wednesday, 02 January, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the leadership of Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is leading the food processing industry in India from the front. The efforts of the ministry have led to FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in food processing sector rising by 24 per cent in 2017-18, according to the Year-Ender 2018 released by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) recently. Highlights of the achievements during the year:
Mega Food Parks

MoFPI is focussing on boosting the food processing industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and becomes a major contributor to doubling the farmers’ income and aid ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government. To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, MoFPI is implementing the Mega Food Park Scheme. Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster-based approach. Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs). Under the scheme, the government provides financial assistance of upto Rs 50 crore per Mega Food Park project.

Five Mega Food Parks were inaugurated during this period taking the total number of Mega          
Food Parks in the country to 14. These include Himalayan Mega Food Park at Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttarakhand; Greentech Mega Food Park at Roopangarh Village in Ajmer, Rajasthan; Satara Mega Food Park in Satara District, Maharashtra; Paithan Mega Food Park in Aurangabad District in Maharashtra; Gujarat Agro Infrastructure Mega Food Park.

Creation/Expansion of Food Processing Preservation Capacities (CEFPPC) - 134 projects have been approved under the scheme till date.

Integrated Cold Chain
MoFPI is implementing the Scheme of Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure as one of the component of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana with the objective of arresting post-harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce and providing remunerative price to farmers for their produce. The integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs and so on. The scheme is primarily private sector driven and proposals under this scheme are invited through Expression of Interest (EoI). Some 81 projects have been approved by Inter Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC); Creation of Backward and Forward Linkage-70 projects have been approved under the scheme till date; Agro Processing Clusters-33 projects have been approved under the scheme till date.

Towards Cleanliness
Efforts towards cleanliness were undertaken under Swachhta Pakhwada which was observed from October 16 to 31. On the first day, the minister launched the campaign with the inauguration of a book Waste to Wealth Technology prepared by Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. During the campaign, industry bodies like Assocham, FICCI, DICCI, PHDCCI, AIFPA and CII organised Swachhta Awareness Programme and training camps for street vendors on food safety across New Delhi. The minister awarded prizes to cleanest Mega Food Parks and Cold Chains.

Standing with Kerala in Trying Times
The ministry made big efforts to reach out to the flood affected people of Kerala during the devastating floods. The minister promptly called a meeting of industry representatives and sought a cohesive effort towards relief for the state. The minister spoke with Chief Minister of Kerala and promised all assistance from the ministry. Following the call from the minister, food processing companies made generous contributions to relief efforts. Extension of time for completion was accorded to two Mega Food Parks under implementation in the state.

Advances in Food Processing Technology
International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) was organised at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The conference saw encouraging participation from speakers, both national and international, and provided a strong platform for knowledge sharing and meaningful discussion among the industry, academia, researchers and farmers which would potentially take the food sector growth to new heights. Over nine overseas speakers, 77 Indian speakers, 18 food industry talks, 30 series lectures, two panel discussions, eight student presentations, 605 poster presentations and 721 abstract publications took place in the conference which also saw release of new technologies and an expo of successful entrepreneurs groomed by IIFPT.

Collaboration with industry got a fillip in the NIFTEM-Industry Forum organised at National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management in Sonepat in Haryana. The meeting aimed to identify challenges being faced by the Indian food industry, to bridge industrial and academic gap by industry-oriented research projects, promote science & technology collaboration based on innovation by developing new technologies, new product development, refine exciting technological infrastructure which can be commercialised in future for the development of food processing sector. On the occasion, the minister mooted the idea of a ‘brand NIFTEM’ for processed food which would be healthier, fresher and cheaper. The minister highlighted that NIFTEM was one of its kind institute and had the potential to become the Harvard of food processing technology and management sector.

Creation of Facilities at NIFTEM
The year saw NIFTEM expanding its infrastructure and adding an Incubation Centre and Food Testing Laboratory to its repertoire. The laboratory would not only serve as a centre for certification of food products but would also undertake research and innovation for solving the problems of the food industry and other stakeholders of the food sector. The centre would work in unison with the regulators and the policy makers for providing them all support for developing standard test protocols for various parameters of quality essential for domestic and international market and would serve as the national reference facility in the years to come.

Modalities of Operation Greens
Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to stabilise the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without any price volatility.

A major step was taken when the ministry declared a two-pronged strategy for operationalisation of the scheme which comprises of Short Term Price Stabilisation Measures consisting of a provision of 50% of the subsidy on Transportation of TOP crops from production to storage; Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for TOP crops; and Long Term Integrated value chain development projects.

Capacity Building of FPOs & their consortium; Quality production; Post-harvest processing facilities; Agri-logistics; Marketing / Consumption points; Creation and management of e-platform for demand and supply management of TOP crops.

The ministry declared that organisations eligible for the grant would include state agriculture and other marketing federations, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), cooperatives, companies, self-help groups, food processors, logistics operators, service providers, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and Central and state governments and their entities/organisations.

Better Connectivity for Grievance Redressal
The ministry launched an in-house toll-free Interactive Voice Response service. People applying under various provisions of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana can call on the number and get their queries resolved by the department concerned.

International Outreach
MoFPI has made numerous forays even at the international level by way of participation in international events and hosting of international dignitaries and representatives of foreign companies at the ministry; prominent among these being the inauguration of SIAL Paris by Union minister in October. Bilateral meeting was also held with the French Agriculture Minister for mutual cooperation. The minister also met representatives from French company Soufflet and CEO Cemafroid, international experts in cold chain, refrigeration & air conditioning and discussed possibilities for collaborations and support in developing cold chain equipment testing laboratories in India.

Apart from this, representatives and delegations from various nations called on the minister to discuss opportunities of investment and participation in food processing sector.

Budget Provisions
Allocation for MoFPI was doubled in the Budget 2018-19 to Rs 1,400 crore and Rs 500 crore was allocated for ‘Operation Greens’ to address price volatility of perishable commodities like Tomato, Onion and Potato. The ministry also initiated a proposal for the setting up of specialised agro processing financial institutions to unlock finance for establishing food processing industries. These institutions would help overcome the deterrents faced while installing food processing projects that are capital-intensive and have long gestation period, by ensuring timely, accessible and affordable credit to this sector.

Skill Development
The ministry launched a new sub-scheme i.e., Scheme for Human Resources and Institution – Skill Development (SHRISD) for assisting Skilling Infrastructure and Development of Course Curriculum with a budget outlay of Rs 27.50 crore from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with following two components:
1. Development of Course Curriculum / Training Module in English, Hindi and translation of the same in recognised regional languages based on the Qualification Packs (QPs) validated by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as National Occupational Standards.
Grants-In-Aid is provided to the eligible institutions upto maximum of Rs 5 lakh per QP for development of training module both in print and multimedia for each job role and, up to a maximum of Rs 0.50 lakh per QP is provided for the translation of already developed training modules in recognised regional languages as per 8th schedule.
2.  Establishing Training Centre (TC) / Expansion of Existing Training Centre to  impart skill/ training on various job roles in food processing as per the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF).
Grants-In-Aid is provided at the rate of 50% of cost of plant & machineries required for a National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) validated training module subject to maximum of Rs 15 lakh per training module and limited to maximum two training modules per Training Centre (TC).
The minister also launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra in Patiala where 1,000 students will get free training in skill development every year in multiple courses.
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