According to N C Saha, the director of the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), the central government of India is planning to set up 30 food parks in various states to help foster small and medium-sized businesses in the food processing sector.
The director made the comments at a workshop, and they were confirmed by the press department of the institute, which is a body set up by the Indian packaging industry and the Ministry of Commerce to improve packaging standards.
The director said that the parks will be set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and they will help approximately 20,000 small and medium industries engaged in the manufacture and processing of food products.
He also said that the proposed parks would help overcome the problems of inadequate storage facilities and transportation issues, because the smaller manufacturers will now be able to consolidate their distribution networks.
The consolidation and sharing of distribution networks would mean that there would be a more cost effective way for food products made by smaller manufacturers to reach their markets, he said.
This will in turn result in a reduction in food wastage because of issues with storage and transportation, increase the shelf life of products, and consequently also help generate better revenues for their manufacturers, he added.
According to Saha, the size of the food processing industry was likely to grow from US$200bn at present to US$310bn by 2015.