Create Rs 7,500-crore fund for meat and fish industry: Assocham
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) wants the government to set up a Rs 7,500-crore ($1.5-billion) corpus fund for the meat and fish processing industry.business Updated: Jul 22, 2009 17:29 IST
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) wants the government to set up a Rs 7,500-crore ($1.5-billion) corpus fund for the meat and fish processing industry.
The fund could be used to infuse new technologies and skills into the food processing sector in order to increase the production of meat, fish and poultry by 25 per cent in two years, the chamber said in a statement Wednesday.
At present, India Inc losses more than 25 per cent of its produce due to poor post-harvesting equipment, inadequate food processing technology and storage facilities, Assocham said.
It also called on the government to deregulate the processed food sector so that the sector could achieve higher growth rate.
Currently, 70 per cent of meat and fish production is in the unorganised sector, as a result of which its processing levels remain stagnant between 2-4 per cent.
According to Assocham, India has 40,000 food processing units, of which 10,000 are engaged in meat, poultry and fish processing, and the remaining 30,000 units exclusively process fruits and vegetables.
India exports a little over five lakh tonnes of meat to the Gulf and neighbouring countries.
"Of the total 7.25 million tonnes of fish production, over 50 per cent is exported to ASEAN region which is a good performance because in fishing sector, India has been doing reasonably well on export front even without developing higher fish processing technologies," Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organisation of 10 Southeast Asian countries.
Assocham has also urged the food processing ministry to give industry status to the food processing sector as India presents a huge opportunity for food sector because of its rising income levels.