Minister seeks to transform India into a food processing re-export hub

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Minister seeks to transform India into a food processing re-export hub

Related tags: Harsimrat kaur badal, Investment

India’s food processing minister has called on international food companies to manufacture their products in India’s “mega food parks” before re-exporting these to a country of their choosing.

Speaking at an industry event, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that this could be done through a “plug-and-play modelwherein common infrastructural facilities would be provided”​. 

She added that all of the 42 food parks either planned or under construction would become operational by 2019 at an investment of over Rs12,000 crore (US$1.8bn). They were devised as part of the government’s flagship “Make In India​” policy to encourage manufacturing.

Badal also said has said that by allowing full foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail for food produced and processed in India, farmers would see their fortunes double due to increased investment.

She pointed out that although Indians spend on average 40% of their income on food, only 10% of what is grown in India is processed in the country.

This, she said, presented a significant opportunity for investors to enter the market, and would contribute to an eventual doubling of farmers' incomes by 2022 from manufacturers “chasing the farmers​” for their produce.

Such investment would also go a long way to improve India’s supply chain by creating the necessary infrastructure for increased food shipments and reducing wastage, she said.

Related topics: Policy, South Asia, Supply chain

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