Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated the ‘Indus Food 2024’, exhibition to showcase India's vibrant and diverse food ecosystem, being held in India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida. While delivering an inspiring address at the inauguration of the exhibition, the Minister praised India's diverse food industry, emphasizing its potential to captivate global markets.
Speaking on India's food processing sector, Shri Goyal highlighted the 150% growth in processed food exports over the last nine years. The Minister highlighted that India’s agricultural exports stood at an aggregate of about US$ 53 Billion. Shri Piyush Goyal quoted the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and said that the time has come for a fusion of technology and taste. He emphasized the need for large-scale food processing, product branding, and export focus to provide better value to farmers, generate employment, and enhance the country's earnings.
The Minister recognized the burgeoning demand for Indian foods globally, he underscored the country's diverse agro-climatic zones, 158 food and agri Geographical Indications (GIs), and the identification of 708 unique food items across districts under the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative.
He lauded the success of food security initiatives of the government such as the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana', providing free food grains to 81 Crore people and ensuring zero starvation deaths in the country. Additionally, he commended efforts to mitigate food inflation through strategic interventions like ‘Bharat Atta’ and ‘Bharat Dal’.
The Minister highlighted India's economic strengths as the fastest-growing large economy, attributing the success to solid macroeconomic foundations and a youthful demographic dividend. He credited social media and global influencers for promoting Indian culinary delights, leading to a surge in the popularity of diverse regional cuisines. Shri Piyush Goyal highlighted the richness of Indian cuisine, noting its distinctive flavors, spices, and aromas.
Shri Goyal stressed the vital role of women in the food sector and emphasized the need for industry-wide collaboration and cooperation while maintaining a competitive spirit. He urged the industry to focus on frozen, packaged, and ready-to-eat foods, encouraging skill development, university exchange programs, and startups in the sector. The Minister urged the industry to prioritize quality, nutrition, organic ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging, underscoring the significance of promoting food nutrition and sustainability.
Shri Piyush Goyal praised the significant success and outstanding achievements of the seventh edition of Indus Food, hailing it as the epicenter for food and beverage excellence in South Asia. He highlighted the international prominence of the event, revealing plans for India Global Culinary Exchange, welcoming 20 top international chefs to experience the country's culinary excellence firsthand.
Expressing confidence in India's capacity to host the world's largest fairs, the Minister emphasized Delhi's potential as a global hub for various expos. He shed light on the ongoing Aatmanirbhar Bharat Utsav at Bharat Mandapam and announced the upcoming Bharat Mobility in the following month, followed by Bharat Tex at the end of February 2024. He shared his vision for these events to lay the groundwork for even larger exhibitions in the coming years. Envisioning 2025 as the year for multi-venue, large-scale shows, he aspired for India to host the world's largest food fair, setting global benchmarks.