New Delhi, Nov 13 (UNI) The theme of the 27th India International Trade Fair 2007 (IITF) 'Processed Food and Agro-Industries' figures prominently in the display scheme of the pavilions of the States and Union Territories besides stand-alone pavilions.
The fortnight-long IITF 2007, being organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), kicks off at Pragati Maidan tomorrow.
India is the 10th most industrialised country and fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity with its GDP projected to grow at nearly 8 per cent in 2006-07.
The country also happens to be the most richly endowed agricultural nation in Asia having 169 million hectares of arable land, accounting for one-tenth of the world's arable land and a fifth of the world's irrigated land at 56 million hectares with a coastline extending to 8000 km and vast marine wealth.
While India is one of the largest food producers of the world with the organised sector accounting for food output worth 34,827 million dollars, only a small percentage of its farm produce is processed into value-added products.
Although the country is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, hardly two per cent of the production is processed. This underlines the enormous scope for investment in the processed food sector in the areas of infrastructure, packaging and machinery.
India, in fact, needs 28 billion dollars of investment to raise its food processing levels by 8-10 per cent.
A number of areas have been identified for attracting investment in the processed foods sector. These are: mega food parks; agri infrastructure, supply chain aggregation; logistics and cold chain infrastructure and machinery/ packaging.
The overall potential embodied by the food processing sector, coupled with the policy initiatives of the Government, has facilitated the entry of leading global players with sizeable investments into this sector.
Considering the demand, growth, policy initiative and investment parameters in appropriate perspective, a Vision 2015 approach adopted by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries foresees a healthy prognosis for the processed foods sector.