Govt. encouraging investment in agro processing industries:DFRL

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Mysore, Dec 17(UNI) Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) Director Dr A S Bawa today said that the Centre was encouraging investment in Agro-processing industries to reduce wastage and encourage value addition.

Speaking to newsmen here, he said that to overcome constraints faced in food processing industry it requires polices and plans for improvement of infrastructure including upgradation of technology and enforcement of quality, standards, promoting investment. Thus assisting in domestic market and export growth.

A strong and dynamic food processing sector plays a significant role in diversification of agricultural activities, improving value addition opportunities and creating surplus for export of agro-food products, he added.

Dr Bawa said that besides providing policy and promotional support, the government has also implemented scheme for technology upgradation of the food processing industries in the country.

He said India's agricultural production base was quite strong but at the same time wastage of agricultural produce was massive.

Processing level was very low around 2 per cent for fruits and vegetables, 26 per cent for marine, six per cent for poultry and 20 per cent for buffalo meat, as against 60-70 per cent in developed countries. The share of India's export of processed food processing industry during the last five years has been 7.15 per cent. The total inflow of foreign direct investment in processing industry sector up to 2006-07 (upto December 2006) was Rs 2500.65 crores.

These values could be increased with the support of sound technological support, he added.

Presently, food processing industry has been facing constraints like non-availability of adequate infrastructure like cold chain, packing and grading centres and others lack of adequate quality control and testing. Inefficient supply chain, lack of processable varieties of farm produce, seasonality of raw material, high inventory carrying cost, high taxation, high packaging cost, affordability and cultural preference of fresh food, he added.

UNI

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