Ministry of Food Processing Industry under the leadership of Union Minister Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal is leading the food processing industry in India from the front. The efforts of the Ministry have led to a FDI in the food processing sector in India rising by 24 per cent in 2017-18. Highlights of the major achievements are as follows
Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the food processing industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and become a major contributor to doubling the farmer’s income and aid ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government. To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country. Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach. Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs). Under the Scheme, Government of India provides financial assistance uptoRs. 50.00 Crore per Mega Food Park project.
Five Mega Food Parks were inaugurated during this period taking the total number of Mega
Food Parks in the country to 14.These include
Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing the Scheme of Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure as one of the component of Pradhan Mantri Kisan SampadaYojana with the objective of arresting post-harvest losses of horticulture & non-horticulture produce and providing remunerative price to farmers for their produce. The integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs, Central/State PSUs, etc. The scheme is primarily private sector driven and proposals under this scheme are invited through Expression of Interest (EOI).
81 projects have been approved by Inter Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC).
Efforts towards cleanliness were undertaken under SwachhtaPakhwada which was observed from 16th to 31st October. On the first day the Minister launched the campaign with the inauguration of a book “Waste to Wealth Technology” prepared by Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu. During the campaign industry bodies like ASSOCHAM, FICCI, DICCI, PHDCCI, AIFPA and CII organised Swachhta Awareness Programme and training camps for street vendors on food safety across New Delhi. The Minister conferred prizes to cleanest Mega Food Parks and Cold Chains.
Standing with Kerala in trying times
The Ministry made big efforts to reach out to the flood affected people of Kerala during the devastating floods. The Minister promptly called a meeting of industry representatives and sought a cohesive effort towards relief for the state. The Minister spoke with Chief Minister of Kerala and promised all assistance from the Ministry. Following the call from the Minister, food processing companies made generous contributions to relief efforts. Extension of time for completion was accorded to two Megal Food Parks under implementation in the state.
Advances in Food Processing Technology
International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) was organised at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. The conference saw encouraging participation from speakers, both national and international, and provided a strong platform for knowledge sharing and meaningful discussionn among the industry, academia, researchers and farmers which would potentially take the food sector growth to a newer heights. Over 09 overseas speakers, 77 Indian speakers, 18 food industry talks, 30 series lectures, 2 panel discussions, 8 student presentation, 605 poster presentation and 721 Abstract Publication took place in the conference which also saw release of new technologies and an expo of successful entrepreneurs groomed by IIFPT.
Collaboration with industry also got a fillip in the NIFTEM-Industry Forum organised at National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management in Sonepat in Haryana. The meeting aimed to identify challenges being faced by the Indian Food Industry, to bridge industrial and academic gap by industry oriented research projects, promote science & technology collaboration based on innovation by developing new technologies, new product development, refine exciting technological infrastructure which can be commercialized in future for the development of food processing sector. On the occasion, the Minister mooted the idea of a ‘Brand NIFTEM’ for processed food which would be healthier, fresher and cheaper. The Minister also highlighted that NIFTEM was a one of its kind institute and had the potential to become the Harvard of food processing technology and management sector.
Creation of facilities at NIFTEM:
The year saw NIFTEM expanding its infrastructure and adding an Incubation centre and Food Testing Laboratory to its repertoire. The laboratory would not only serve as a Centre for certification of food products but would also undertake research and innovation for solving the problems of the food industry and the other stakeholders of the food sector. The Center would work in unison with the regulators and the policy makers for providing them all support for developing standard test protocols for various parameters of quality essential for domestic and international market and would serve as the National Reference facility in the years to come.
Modalities of Operation GREENS:
Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 with an outlay of Rs 500 crores to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato(TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without any price volatility.
A major step was taken when the Ministry declared a two pronged strategy for operationalization of the scheme which comprises of
The Ministry declared that organisations eligible for the grant would include State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), cooperatives, companies, Self-help groups, food processors, logistic operators, service providers, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and central and state governments and their entities/organizations.
Better connectivity for grievance redressal:
The Ministry launched an in-house tollfree Interactive Voice Response service at 1-800-111175. People applying under various provisions of PradhanMantriKisan SAMPADA Yojana can call on this number and get their queries resolved by the concerned department.
MoFPI has made numerous forays even at the international level by way of participation in international events and hosting of international dignitaries and representatives of foreign companies at the Ministry; prominent among these being the inauguration of SIAL Paris by Union Minister in October. Bilateral meeting was also held with the French Agriculture minister for mutual cooperation. The Minister also met representatives from French company, Soufflet and CEO Cemafroid, international experts in cold chain, refrigeration & air conditioning and discussed possibilities for collaborations and support in developing cold chain equipment testing laboratories in India.
Apart from this, representatives and delegations from various nations called on the Minister to discuss opportunities of investment and participation in food processing sector.
Allocation for Ministry of Food Processing Industries was doubled in the Budget 2018-19 to Rs. 1400 Crores and Rs. 500 crore was allocated for ‘Operation Greens’ to address price volatility of perishable commodities like Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP). The Ministery also initiated a proposal for the setting up of a Specialized Agro Processing Financial Institutions to unlock finance for establishing food processing industries. These institutions would help overcome the deterrents faced while installing food processing projects that are capital intensive and have long gestation period, by ensuring timely, accessible and affordable credit to this sector.
The Ministry launched a new sub-scheme i.e. Scheme for Human Resources and Institution – Skill Development (SHRISD) for assisting skilling infrastructure and Development of Course Curriculum with a budget outlay of Rs.27.50 Crore from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with following two components
1. Development of Course Curriculum / Training Module in English, Hindi and translation of the same in recognized regional languages based on the Qualification Packs (QPs) validated by National Skill Development Corporation( (NSDC) as National Occupational Standards.
Grants-In-Aid is provided to the eligible Institutions upto a maximum of Rs.5.00 lakh per QP for development of training module both in print and multimedia for each job role and, up to a maximum of Rs. 0.50 lakh per QP is provided for the translation of already developed training modules in recognized regional languages as per 8th schedule.
2. Establishing Training Centre (TC) / Expansion of Existing Training Centre to impart skill/ training on various job roles in food processing as per the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF).
Grants-In-Aid is provided at the rate of 50% of cost of plant & machineries required for a National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) validated training module subject to maximum of Rs. 15 lakh per training module and limited to maximum two training modules per Training centre(TC).
The Minister also launched PradhanMantriKaushal Kendra in Patiala where 1000 students
will get free training in skill Development every year in the multiple courses.