Huge potential for MSMEs in Food Processing & Packaging in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: “Though India occupies the status of leader in food production, but only 10% of food is processed”, said Shri B.K. Behera, Economic Advisor from Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Govt. of India, New Delhi in the seminar on “Food Processing in Odisha with Focus on Packaging” held on the sidelines of Odisha MSME International Trade Fair, 2108. He added that over Rs.1 lakh crore worth of food is wasted in India, which can actually feed many small countries. He stressed on the need for waste reduction by setting up of food processing units, which has large employment potential.

Dr. N.C. Saha, Director Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Mumbai stated that food
processing is globally a $770 billion market providing employment to over 5 billion people. He stated that packaging is an integral part of food processing. He added that Asia Pacific
Countries constitute 3rd largest market in packaging sector. He added that packaging is a
combination of science, art and technology, which not only adds self-life to a food product, but also adds to the value of the product. In the context of the food items like rasagola,
chhenapoda, talgur, tamarind paste, spices produced abundantly in Odisha, setting up of state of the art packaging units in Odisha is an attractive proposition. Packaging will enhance branding, improve preservation and ensure value addition.

While presenting the background remarks, Shri L.N. Gupta, ACS, MSME stated that
Odisha is the 4th largest shrimp producer in the country and 9th largest fish producing state. It has 25 lakh MT of surplus cereal production and more than 32 lakh MT of surplus rice. Besides, it produces 100 lakh tons of vegetables, 85,000 MT of cashew, 6.5 lakh tons of spices and 20 lakh tons of milk, which altogether offer a huge potential for food processing industry in the state. With attractive incentives up to Rs.5 crore available under the Odisha Food Processing Policy coupled with benefits under the Kissan Sampada Yojana, intending entrepreneurs can set up food processing industry in 2 mega Food Parks developed at Deras for the marine sector, MITS Food Park for the mixed products at Rayagada and other industrial estates. He stated that Odisha offers opportunity of investment in primary processing from ‘cleaning & sorting’ to  chilling & freezing,’ Secondary processing from ‘making slices & pulps to cut/fried chilled items
and Tertiary processing from ‘manufacturing ketchups & jams’ to Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meals.

While delivering the presidential address, Shri Prafulla Samal, Hon’ble Minister, MSME,
W&CD, SSEPD expressed satisfaction over successful implementation of the International Trade Fair and holding of 4 seminars, which have been well attended and well received by the existing as well as budding entrepreneurs. He added that Odisha being bestowed with natural and agro resources, offers employment opportunities in food processing sector and assured best facilitation to the entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the occasion Shri R.G. Math, Sr. Principal Scientist Head, CFTRI, Mysore
made a presentation on newer technologies that could be adopted by the entrepreneurs of
Odisha for processing of Ragi, Rusk, Millets, Jackfruit, Tamarind, other fruits and vegetables. He also stressed on adoption of intelligent packaging, which depicts the state of food within the packaging. Shri Srikumar Misra, CEO, Milk Mantra stressed on the need by entrepreneurs to focus on innovation of products based on market demand. He stated that the products should be nutrition based and convenience led. As regards dairy sector, he added that there is a need to educate the consumers to adopt the practice of utilizing the fresh milk rather than powder milk because of higher nutritional value of the former.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Muthu Kumar, Director Agriculture & Food Production,
stated that government is laying emphasis on clustered growth in the agri business sector and accordingly, efforts are being made to develop clusters of turmeric cultivation, ginger
cultivation, chilly and for certain fruits. Shri Ramesh Mohapatra, President, UCCI informed that at present there are 15 aqua hatcheries in the state, the production of which is going to rise to 27 shortly. He added that Odisha has 24,000 hectares of land under aqua culture, which is providing nearly 1% of the total employment in the state. On this occasion, Shri Ramesh Mohapatra, President, UCCI and Mr. Bahador Sadeghi, Deputy International Affairs on behalf of the President, Qazvin Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (QCCIMA), Iran signed an MoU for the purpose of mutual cooperation, improving and expanding trade exchange information and facilitate trade missions between Odisha and Iran.

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