New Delhi, Oct 16: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Food Processing Industries, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the Indian food processing sector is 32 per cent of the country's food market.
Tomar virtually inaugurated the India - International Food and Agri Week, being organised from October 16-22.
Addressing the inaugural session, Tomar said the focus of this agro and food tech is the use of technology in the field of food and agriculture sector to increase the income of farmers.
He said this is in line with the goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to double the income of farmers by 2022.
Speaking on the potential of food and agriculture sector, Tomar said the country's agriculture and rural economy is very robust.
He added that proper marketing and latest technology can lead to greater development of the agriculture sector and significant steps have been taken in this direction under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
Tomar said the GDP growth rate in Agriculture is 3.4 per cent and this sector has contributed hugely to the country's economic growth, even during the COVID times. The MoFPI has started an awareness campaign named 'Anna Devo Bhava' to mark this occasion.
He stressed that along with increasing awareness about the value of food, 'We must also focus on reducing food wastage'.
Explaining the initiatives of MOFPI, Mr Tomar shared that under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the MoFPI has started PM Formalisation of Micro food Enterprises (PMFME) scheme with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crore.
This scheme will support two lakh micro food processing units with credit linked subsidy and focus on supporting the SHGs, FPOs and cottage industry.
The Union Minister said that MoFPI is working with the Commerce Ministry, which has shortlisted ready-to-eat food and fruits and vegetables for its export markets. The Government is moving towards branding of food products and creation of Market Development board, he added.
Tomar shared that MoFPI started the PM Kisan Sampada Scheme for modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets.
He said the MFP scheme is an important element of PMKSY, whose objective is to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together the farmers, processors and retailers. As of now, 37 MFPs have been approved, out of which 20 have begun operations.
The Ministry has expanded the Operation greens scheme from TOP to TOTAL. Under this scheme, the Ministry will provide 50 per cent subsidy for transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre for six months and/or Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of three months), added the Minister.
Addressing the 14th edition of the Agro and Food Tech, Mr Tomar said that it is an appropriate platform to showcase the products, services and technology available in the agriculture and related sectors.
All stakeholders present at this event would benefit from the latest technologies, solutions and opportunities presented in this event, he noted.
The CII, in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries and Animal
Husbandry, and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, is organising its first-ever Virtual CII Agro & Food Tech : India - International Food & Agri Week from October 16-22 on CII HIVE – a virtual platform, with an intent to create a platform for the benefit of the stakeholders involved in agriculture and allied sectors.
CII President Uday Kotak and Chairman of CII Northern region Nikhil Sawhney, also addressed the session. (UNI)