PM Modi said the food processing sector needs to be developed at a faster pace.
PM Modi said the food processing sector needs to be developed at a faster pace.

India needs post-harvest revolution or food processing revolution: PM Modi

PM Modi, while addressing a webinar on budget provisions for the farm sector, highlighted the various initiatives taken by the government in the financial document for the next fiscal year.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 01:09 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday stressed it is time to expand the agriculture sector to “a global market for processed food” and said India needs a post-harvest or food processing revolution. The Prime Minister said his government is initiating steps to integrate the country's agricultural produce into the global processed foods market.

PM Modi, while addressing a webinar on budget provisions for the farm sector, highlighted the various initiatives taken by the government in the financial document for the next fiscal year, including increasing the target of agriculture credit to 16.5 lakh crore from 15 lakh crore in the current financial year. "We have made reforms and started production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes worth 11,000 crore which will help the agro-industries. Ready to eat, ready to cook, seafood and several other items are being promoted," he said.

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Modi also said the government has taken various decisions for the benefit of 12 crore small and marginal farmers, who he said would become the driving force of the rural economy. "It is the need of the hour to ensure farmers' produce get as many options in the market as possible. We have to integrate our agricultural produce into the global processed foods market," PM Modi said. "India of 21st century needs post-harvest or food processing revolution and value addition amid increasing agriculture production. It would have been good for the country had this been done two to three decades ago,” he added.

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Modi said the food processing sector needs to be developed at a faster pace and that participation of farmers as well as public-private partnerships need to be increased to bring about the food processing revolution. The Prime Minister said that the public sector has mainly contributed towards research and development in the agriculture sector and that the time has come to increase its participation. “It should not be limited to just seeds, but a holistic scientific ecosystem associated with one crop, the entire cycle,” he said.

He also stressed that farmers should be given alternatives so that they are limited to growing just wheat and paddy. He also talked about the need to encourage agricultural startups, saying they have performed well during the pandemic. The Prime Minister also emphasised establishing a network for soil testing at the village level and also on the accessibility of technology for farmers. "We must also focus on helping the smallest farmers with modern technology."

(With agency inputs)

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