Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday stated that with the possibilities available in the field of food processing, India would become a global leader by 2020.
Speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar, Harsimrat said India had the potential, environment and availability of requisite resources to lead the world on the food processing front and the time had come to realise this dream. She stressed the need to bring down food wastage, besides ensuring safe, nutritional and affordable high quality food to the aam aadmi (common man), which would become a catalyst in curbing food inflation.
She said the food processing industry was growing rapidly at almost 9% compared to 3.3% for agriculture and 6.6% for manufacturing, which has engaged around 60% of the population directly or indirectly.
She added that food processing was contributing 13% to Indian exports despite processing only 10% of the total produce. She said this sector could generate employment, curtail inflation, uplift farmers, reduce wastage and provide food and nutritional security, which should be given priority by our peasantry and food industries.