India's food processing sector, which was growing at about six per cent four years ago, is now expanding at nearly 15 per cent annually, Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay said today.
The country processes about 10 per cent of the total food produced and by 2015 it is expected to rise to 20 per cent, the Minister of State for Food Processing said.
He said the sector has a huge potential, particularly in the European markets, where there is good demand for ready-to-eat food. To grow rapidly, the sector requires an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore, he said.
Sahay, who was in Jamshedpur for the Twenty20 finals of the Jharkhand Premier League match, said there was a need for a separate food processing policy and that he would "soon talk to state governments in this regard."
He said there was a huge potential for the food processing sector in Jharkhand, which does not have a single unit for perishables in the state, and has not seen any action by the state government in this regard. "We set up a food park in Ranchi over a year ago, but unfortunately, the state government has not been able to grant a sub-lease of 50-60 acre till now," he said.