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Food processing involves any type of value addition to agricultural or horticultural produce and also includes processes such as grading, sorting, packaging which enhance shelf life of food products. The food processing industry provides vital linkages and synergies between industry and agriculture. The Food Processing Industry sector in India is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. The government has accorded it a high priority, with a number of fiscal reliefs and incentives, to encourage commercialization and value addition to agricultural produce, for minimizing pre/post harvest wastage, generating employment and export growth. India's food processing sector covers a wide range of products fruit and vegetables; meat and poultry; milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, Soya-based products, mineral water, high protein foods etc.

Indian food processing industry is widely recognized as a 'sunrise industry' having huge potential for uplifting agricultural economy, creation of large scale processed food manufacturing and food chain facilities, and the resultant generation of employment and export earnings. The industry is estimated to be worth around US$ 67 billion and employing about 13 million people directly and about 35 million people indirectly. The food processing sector in India is geared to meet the international standards. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has the mandate to develop standards and also to harmonise the same with International Standards consistent with food hygiene and food safety requirement and to the conditions of India's food industry.

Two nodal agencies, Agricultural & Processed food products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), were formed for promoting exports from India. MPEDA is responsible for overseeing all fish and fishery product exports; APEDA, on the other hand, holds responsibility for the exports of other processed food products.

Advantage India

  • India is one of the largest food producers in the world
  • India has diverse agro-climatic conditions and has a large and diverse raw material base suitable for food processing companies
  • India is looking for investment in infrastructure, packaging and marketing
  • India has huge scientific and research talent pool
  • Well developed infrastructure and distribution network
  • Rapid urbanisation, increased literacy,changing life style, increased number of women in workforce, rising per capita income- leading to rapid growth and new opportunities in food and beverages sector
  • 50 per cent of household expenditure by Indians is on food items
  • Strategic geographic location (proximity of India to markets in Europe and Far East, South East and West Asia).

India's Position in World's Production

  • Largest producer of milk in the world (105 million tonnes per annum)
  • Largest livestock population(485 million tonnes per annum)
  • Second largest producer of fruits & vegetables (150 million tonnes per annum)
  • Third largest producer of food grain (230 million tonnes per annum)
  • Third largest producer of fish (7 million tonnes per annum)
  • 52% cultivable land compared to 11% world average
  • All 15 major climates in the world exist in India
  • 46 out of 60 soil types exist in India
  • 20 agri-climatic regions

Key Growth Drivers of Food Processing Sector in India

  • Increasing spending on health and nutritional foods.
  • Increasing number of nuclear families and working women
  • Changing lifestyle
  • Functional foods, fresh or processed foods
  • Organised retail and private label penetration
  • Changing demographics and rising disposable incomes

Key Opportunities in Food processing Sector

  • Processable varieties of crop
  • Contract farming
  • Investments in infrastructure through Public Private partnership (PPP)
  • Mega Food parks
  • Integrated cold chain
  • Food safety Management Systems


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