India, one of the largest producers of food commodities in the world, has the potential to become a global food factory, a top official of the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MFPI) said on Saturday.
"We are the largest producer of milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world.
Besides we rank among the top five in production of some or the other food items, and considering this India can become a global food factory by concentrating on safe food mechanisms," K Rajeswara Rao, Joint Secretary in the Ministry, said.
"We have to now prepare our system to cater to international food standards and domestic needs also."
He was speaking at an awareness programme on 'Food Safety and Quality', jointly organised by the MFPI and Quality Council of India (QCI) in Hyderabad.
Investment to the tune of over Rs 1-lakh crore is needed for setting up more food processing units across the country. These units would help in bringing down the wastage of foodgrains and other edible items, he said.
The Centre is contributing Rs 10,000 crore towards this, while the remaining Rs 90,000 crore is expected from the private sector, Rao said.
"Food safety is a global concern and in addition to the end product specifications and testing, the regulators world over are insisting on good manufacturing and hygienic practices in the food businesses," he said.