The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is concerned with formulation and implementation of the policies and plans for the food processing industries within the overall national priorities and objectives.
In the era of economic liberalisation, all segments including; private, public and co-operative sectors have defined roles to play and the Ministry promotes their active participation.
Benefits of food processing:
A strong and dynamic food processing sector plays a vital role
1. Reduction in the wastage of perishable agricultural produce,
2. Enhancing shelf life of food products,
3. Ensuring value addition to agricultural produce,
4. Diversification and commercialisation of agriculture,
5. Generation of employment,
6. Enhancing income of farmers and creating surplus for the export of agro and processed foods.
MoFPI held an interactive session with media and highlighted various initiatives of the Government. The media was informed that one of the major achievements in regard to transforming Food Economy through Food Processing has been reduction of wastage by 10% per year.
India has started moving toward Zero Tolerance of Food Wastages. Emphasising the need to adopt Zero Tolerance on food wastages by all departments connected to food, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that initiatives of MoFPI have now started bearing fruits and her target is to bring down the food wastages to zero level.
Progress under NDA vs UPA:
Government has sanctioned 37 Mega Food Parks out of which 8 have been operationalised (6 in 2 years of NDA tenure vs 2 in 10 years of UPA tenure). Out of 134 Cold Chain Projects sanctioned 81 have been completed (44 in 2 years of NDA tenure vs. 37 during UPA tenure).
How the industry is boosted:
Food Processing is an employment intensive sector and to facilitate investments, a single window facilitation cell has been created to handhold overseas and domestic investors in food processing sector.
A Food Map identifying surplus and deficit areas of various agricultural and horticulture produce in the country has been made and is available on website of the ministry.
A Special Fund of Rs.2000 crores has been set up in NABARD to make available affordable credit to agro processing units in the designated food parks.
Ministry shall be launching a Mobile App to provide one stop information to farmers and entrepreneurs to provide necessary skill set to them for setting up food processing units.
Excise Duty on machinery for processing has been reduced from 10% to 6%. Pre-cold Storage services like pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labeling of fruits and vegetables have been exempted from Services Tax.
Loans to food and agro-based processing units and Cold Chains have been classified under agriculture activities for Priority Sector Lending subject to aggregate sanctioned limit of Rs.100 crore per borrower.
Ministry has launched an ONLINE SYSTEM to file claims under flagship schemes like Mega Food Park and Cold Chains to remove human interface and improve transparency.
Ministry has also simplified procedures by reducing requirement of documents or affidavits and created Grievance Redressal Mechanism so that promoters are given opportunity of Personal Hearing.
Since September 2015, 24,084 persons have been trained in food processing sector under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
The target of the ministry is to create small and medium enterprises in food processing sector all over the country, and to give it a big push she has launched a new scheme 'SAMPADA' to focus on seamless development of Agri Processing clusters close to the surplus production areas.
All these initiatives of the Ministry of Food Processing shall contribute in a big way in doubling farmers' income and reducing food wastages.