Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the sector would attract an investment of USD 14 billion over the next 2-3 years as committed by the domestic and foreign investors during the world food summit.
Badal said the government has doubled the budget outlay for the ministry to Rs 1,400 crore for next fiscal and the amount would be used to improve processing infrastructure and setting up of cold chain grids. She said the government is targeting to double food processing level to 20 per cent.
“Memorandum of understandings (MoUs) for investments worth USD 13-14 billion were signed during world food summit. These MoUs are being monitored by me personally,” Badal told reporters on the sidelines of a conference ‘One Globe Forum 2018’ here.
The World Food India 2017 was organised by the government here last November. The minister said that these MoUs are not just papers and all the investors have initiated work to set up projects.
“Within 2-3 years, we will see grounding and operationalisation of most of these MoUs,” the she said, adding Amazon has already started setting up food processing projects in the country.
When asked about the sharp increase in Budget allocation for the sector, she said the fund would be used to create infrastructure at farm-gate level besides for preservation and processing of perishable fruits and vegetables so that the wastages could be reduced.
India is estimated to lose fruits and vegetables worth millions of dollar in absence of adequate food processing infrastructure and cold storages.
Badal further said cold chain grid would be set up across the country for seamless transfer of agricultural item from producing centres to consumption points.