The country's food industry-size is expected to reach $ 258 billion by FY 15 from the current level of $ 181 billion. India is one of the world's largest producer as well as consumer of food products, with the sector playing an important role in contributing to the development of the economy.
"The food processing industry in India is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. The food industry is expected to reach $ 258 billion by FY 15 and $ 318 billion by FY 20 from the current level of $ 181 billion," Ficci Food Processing Committee Chairman, Shrijeet Mishra, said at a 'Foodworld India 2009' conference here today.
Domestically, the spending on food and food products amounts to 21 per cent of India's GDP and constitutes the largest portion of the Indian consumers spending-more than a 31 per cent share of wallet. As much as 70 per cent of the current food spending by the Indian consumer is on agri-products.
Buoyed by a favourable policy environment and demand push impact of a young consuming-class with growing disposable incomes, India offers significant investment opportunities in the food and agri-business, Mishra said.
The Government aims to take India to a position of world food supplier, by tripling growth of the food process industry, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Secretary, Ashok Sinha, said here.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries aims at better use of agri-produce and value-addition to increase the income of farmers, thereby reducing wastages, minimise the expenses of all levels along the supply chain, through development of basic facilities for processing and storage of agri and other food products, Sinha said.
The potential investment opportunities exists in almost all fields be it fruits and vegetables, processed food, nutraceuticals and other food processing, Sinha said, adding that the Government has declared food processing sector as a priority sector.
Sinha pointed out that private sector enterpreneurs have not shown interest in the Government's proposed mega-food parks, which was launched last year. The Government has spent Rs 50 crore and private players were expected to infuse Rs 50-crore for development of infrastructure.
In an effort to boost the food sector, the Government is working on agri-zones and the concept of mega food-parks. Twenty such mega-parks are proposed across the country in various cities to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the food-processing sector.
The Government has released a total assistance of $ 23 million to implement the Food Parks Scheme. It has so far approved 50 food parks for assistance across the country. The Centre also plans $ 22-billion subsidy for mega food processing parks.
The Government is shortly launching 4-5 mega food-parks and removed some anamolies to pave the way for smooth participation of private players, Sinha said.
The national policy on food processing also aims at increasing the level of food processing from the present 2 per cent to 10 per cent by 2010 and 25 per cent by 2025.
The Government has allowed 100 per cent FDI in processing sector, Sinha said.