New Delhi, Dec 20 ; Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday expressed the confidence that in coming years India will take the lead and become a torch-bearer in terms of providing technology and know how in food processing sector so that no Indian goes to bed without food.
"We have the potential to become the food factory of the world," she said.
Speaking at the Platinum Jubilee Conference of the All-India Food Processors Association here which was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind, Ms Badal said that in coming years India, China and Malaysia will hold the key to not only producing the maximum amount of food but also maximum mouths to feed in these countries.
``So slowly and steadily the Food Processing Industries in these countries is going to play a pivotal role in times to come and I hope India will take the lead in terms of technology and know how,’’ she said.
The Minister said in her ministry, with a capacity creation to handle agro produce worth over Rs 1 lakh crore, 351 per cent increase in preservation and processing capacity and mega food parks, 750 per cent increase in cold storage capacity and food accounting for 70 per cent of the processed retail sector, over 4 lakh employment had been created in the last 4.5 years.
“There is no doubt that this is the most robust sector, ready to grow and ready to partner our farmers, leaders, policy makers with the industry playing a crucial role,’’ she said.
She expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, she said, had backed the Ministry with budgetary and policy support on issues such as allowing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail food, harmonising food standards with world norms and removing road blocks that were hampering growth.
Farmers have done us proud despite the challenges. We are number one in production of milk, number 2 in production of fruits and vegetables, and among the largest producers of cereals, meat, marine etc. Yet we have challenges as we process only 10 per cent of what we produce,’’ she said.(UNI)