Friday, December 16, 2011

Sate Level Seminar on “Food Processing Industry: Opportunities’ & Challenges”

The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FAPCCI) & New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) jointly organized a Sate Level Seminar on “Food Processing Industry: Opportunities’ & Challenges” on 16th December 2011 at Surana Udyog Auditorium, Red Hills, Hyderabad. Mr. P. Mohanaiah, Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was the chief guest for the occasion.

Mr. V.S. Raju, President, FAPCCI, Padmasri Dr. M.V. Rao, President, Agri-Biotech Foundation, Mr. K. Purnachandra Rao, Principal Scientist, ICRISAT, Dr. A. Satyanarayana, Scientist &Head, CFTRI, (RC), Dr. J. Dilip Babu, Prl. Scientist, Horticulture University, Dr. Anurag Chaturvedi, Professor, Home Science College, Mr. Ravindra Modi, MD, Hyderabad Food Products Pvt. Ltd, Mr. K. Bhaskar Reddy, Chairman, Agricultural Development Committee and Mr. A.S. Kumar, Deputy Secretary General are the other speakers at the occasion.

Mr. P. Mohanaiah in his keynote address said that the food-processing industry has been registering good growth since the past few decades. The annual rate of growth of net value added of agro-industries at constant prices increased from 4.12 percent during the pre-reform period to 6.62 percent during the reform period. The value addition of food fortification is only seven percent in the country compared to as much as 23% in China, 45% in the Philippines and 188% in the U.K. Only two percent of the fruits and vegetables are processed in India. This is against a processing of 30% in Thailand, 70% in Brazil, 78 percent in the Philippines and 80 percent in Malaysia. The Government of India targets to bring it to 25 percent by 2025. The ten percent target would call for an investment of Rs. 1,40,000 crores. This is supposed to create employment to 77 lakh persons directly and another 3 crores of people indirectly in the country. The post harvest losses in fruits and vegetables are estimated to be Rs.50000 crores at the national level and Rs 2500 crores in the state. Food processing industries have a crucial role to play in reduction of post harvest losses. The most important point in the food industry is that a substantial portion being rural based it has a very high employment potential with significantly lower investment. The fruits and vegetable farming for processing is not only employment intensive, but also enhances the gross as well as net returns of the farmers. Further, agro-industry generates new demand on the farm sector for more and different agricultural outputs, which are more suitable for processing. On the other hand, the development of these industries would relax wage goods constraint to economic growth by enhancing the supply of their products.

Mr. V.S. Raju said that the Food processing industry is of enormous significance for India`s development as it has linked economy, industry and agriculture in India, efficiently and effectively. The three pillars being together have synergized the development process and promoted the growth of the nation to great extents. There are 25,367 registered food processing in the country whose total investment capital is Rs.84,094 crore as per a competitiveness Council. The food processing sector is presently growing an average rate of 13.5% per annum. The vision document 2015 envisages increasing the value addition from 25% to 35% by 2025.

Mr. K. Bhaskar Reddy in his introductory remarks said that Andhra Pradesh has enormous potential to develop food processing. It will catalyze the rural economy, reduce wastage of farm produce, spur growth, generate employment, increase returns of the farmer and create incomes in semi-rural areas. However food processing industry is an unusually underdeveloped industry in India and also in Andhra Pradesh. Radical changes in spending habits and rising incomes have resulted in consumer tastes shifting from cereal towards fruits, vegetables, processed foods, and milk and milk products. Changed lifestyle demanded hygienic, natural and ready for consumption kind process.

Mr. Bhaskar Reddy said that fruits and vegetables is one of the most important and fast growing subsectors of the food processing sector. There are abundant investment opportunities in expanding the export market for fruit juices and pulps, dehydrated and frozen fruits and vegetable products, tomato products, pickles etc. Good international demand for certain fruits and vegetable products also. The Indian food processing industry is primarily export oriented. Some of the Key Opportunities in Food Processing Sector are Process able varieties of crop, Contract farming, Investments in infrastructure through Public Private Partnership, Food Parks, Integrated cold chain, and Food Safety Management Systems.

The challenges for the food preservation, distribution and processing sectors are diverse, demanding and need to be address on several fronts to derive maximum market benefits. In the emerging scenario, the food engineering professional needs to develop sufficient awareness and appreciation of the relevant principles of life sciences, and physical sciences as well as wide variety of other topics ncluding nutrition. Preservation and storage technique, bio-processing, waste management, distribution and supply chain management of food laws and regulations and soon Mr. Reddy said.

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