India wants to forge partnership with America’s food processing sector to bring the best practices of the world into its food value chain which processes only 10 per cent of the huge raw material base, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said.
Badal, the food processing industries minister, is leading a visiting Indian delegation which met officials from companies across the food value chain in Chicago and Washington DC.
The visit came ahead of the mega ‘World Food India’ trade show in New Delhi later this year. “World Food provides a platform to companies which are looking at expanding their footprints outside their country to tap newer markets,” Badal said.
India is looking at partnering with those companies to upgrade Indian systems and technologies and bring the best practices of the world into the food value chain, she said.
She said the trip has helped in sensitising people and across the food chain about the ‘World Food India’ and the opportunities that India offers. Food processing industry, she observed, can play a vital role in doubling farmer’s income and reduce the food wastage which in turn will ensure more food for the growing population. “We have a huge raw material base, but we processed only 10 per cent,” she said.
Badal said to control wastage, there was a need to increase processing levels. And to increase processing levels there is need to create the infrastructure, she said. “I want to bring in the best technology and the best of the know-how for the creation of that infrastructure,” she said.
India has a $600 billion retail sector, of which 70 per cent is food retail. This is set to triple by 2020. Badal said she is visiting the US to tell food processors, machine manufacturers, technology suppliers and refrigeration companies to come to India if they expand their footprint and increase their business.
“This is the area where we are investing. Bring your technology to India if you need to expand so that my people can pick up your technology and your machinery,” she said.