President Ram Nath Kovind Calls World Food India “Kumbh Mela of Indian Food”
World Food India 2017 achieved a resounding success with delegates from over 60 countries and Global CEOs congregating in New Delhi for the three day Conference cum exhibition. The President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind graced the event at its Valedictory session and congratulated the Union Minister of Food processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, ably supported by MoS Sadhavi Niranjan Jyoti for putting together the mega event.
Addressing the gathering, President Mr. Kovind said “World Food India 2017 has helped showcase the vast and near limitless opportunities in the food industry and in food processing in India.” The President termed WFI “the Kumbh Mela of Indian food.”
He noted that the diversity of Indian cuisine literally renders one human lifetime not enough to experience the range and richness of Indian food! The President however pointed out that Food is not just culture, it is also commerce. He said “India’s food consumption is currently valued at US $370 billion. It is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025, in less than a decade. There are opportunities across the entire food value chain in India – including post-harvest facilities, logistics, cold chains, and manufacturing. It is a sector with a large business appetite and the food industry can be a huge employer.”
The President cautioned that the regrettable wastage has to be curtailed. “A focused emphasis on modern food processing can change things. It gives the food sector the potential to become the intersection of so many of our flagship programmes – Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India, Digital India, and the resolve to double farm incomes” Mr. Kovind added.
The President noted that the food story in India has world-wide implications. “On a global scale, the market for Indian food products is massive. It extends from 1.8 billion people in South Asia to a 30 million strong diaspora population, and to millions more in all parts of the world” he elaborated. On the occasion, the President gave away Start-up Awards and Hackathon Awards to college students who helped suggest ways of detecting food adulteration. Mr. Kovind said “There is an increasing stress on food safety, accurate labelling, intellectual property issues and innovation in the food processing sector – as well as on using technology as an enabler”.
Recapitulating the action packed three day Mega Food event, the host Union Minister MrHarsimrat Kaur Badal said that inspired by the leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, her Ministry sees World Food India 2017 as a beginnimg and not end of an event. She said at the World Food India 2017 not only has a Guinness book record been established for cooking 918kg of ubiquitous comfort, wellness food – the nutritious Khichadi; business worth $11.25b with 50 MoUs has been transacted during the three days.
Mrs. Badal said MoFPI’s resolve is only strengthened to help India be established as the World Food Factory. Smt Badal said that during WFI, States including Punjab and Haryana also have negotiated MOUs worth $2.5b. “Ministry of Food Processing Industries will forge ahead to work expeditiously on implementing these MOUs. A special cell has been setup in Invest India to follow up on these negotiations and the Knowledge Partners would help achieve the goals” she informed. Mrs. Badal said her Ministry is guided by the principles of – ensure steps to reduce wastage, produce more and process more. Farm to Fork is their mantra and Food Processing Industries have to be the bridge between Farmers and Consumers. The Minister informed that while States of Maharashtra and Telangana have announced their Food Processing Policy, the MoFPI would soon finalize the National Food Processing Policy.