The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), which is powering India’s Evergreen Revolution, will help set up as many as 350 food processing units within the next 100 days as part of its target of creating 1 crore jobs by 2015 at a total investment of Rs.1 lakh crore.
The Ministry will also inaugurate the first phase of the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) within the next 100 days. NIFTEM has been conceived as an apex training institution needed to build the human resources capacity necessary for supporting rapid increase in the investments in the sector.
The Ministry, as part of its Vision 2015 action plan, has already helped create 47 lakh incremental jobs in the last four years through several measures initiated during the term of the first UPA government. In the next five years, the ministry intends to finish the unfinished agenda of creating 1 crore jobs by 2015.
The Vision 2015 targets formulated in 2005 during the term of the first UPA government, included increasing India’s level of food processing from an abysmal 6 per cent in 2004 to 20 per cent by 2015, value addition from 20 per cent in 2004 to 35 per cent and share in global trade from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent.
As a result of the slew of initiatives introduced by the Government of India and the MoFPI during the last five years, the food processing sector has made rapid strides and is well on its way to achieve the targets set for 2015. The level of processing has already gone up to 10 per cent with consequent wastage of perishables coming down from Rs.58,000 crore a year to less than Es.50,000 cores, value addition has gone up to 26 per cent from 20 per cent earlier and the entire sector’s growth rate has gone up to over 13 per cent from about 7 per cent before 2005.
To achieve the Vision 2015 targets, however, a lot more needs to be done during the next five years. The Ministry has identified as many as 13 key areas where action needs to be taken.
It has also identified nearly 100 measures that will be initiated within the first 100 days from today to facilitate and enable rapid development of the food processing sector. The Ministry believes such growth will transform India by making agriculture viable, ensuring inclusive growth and reducing mass poverty.
The Ministry’s first priority is to ensure supply of trained manpower at all levels- technicians, managers and entrepreneurs since the massive investment targeted for the food processing sector cannot be achieved without the necessary human resources.
In the first 100 days, the Ministry intends to commission a study to ascertain/identify the requirements of the industry for trained manpower at various levels. It will also prepare a blueprint for training 10 lakh skilled workers and 5 lakh women entrepreneurs within the next 5 years.
The Ministry will also inaugurate the 1st Phase of upgraded Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT), Thanjavur which is taking shape as an “International Centre of Excellence”. Ministry will also inaugurate the 1st Food Processing Mega Incubation Centre at IICPT, Thanjavur in the first 100 days.
Among many other steps, the Ministry will also commission within the next 100 days two integrated cold chain projects and the first processing unit in the country’s first Mega Food Park.
The Ministry will also launch a new Website and magazine to disseminate information about the sector to all stakeholders.
The Government of India has already introduced several fiscal incentives for the sector during the last five years. The MoFPI will continue to champion the industry’s cause and seek more fiscal incentives including tax holiday for all food processing units and further lowering of custom, excise and VAT on food products, raw materials, machinery and packaging used by the industry.
The booklet “Transforming India: 100 steps in 100 days” lists many other measures that will be introduced within the next 100 days and lover the next five years.