New Delhi: Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated World Food India 2017, at Vigyan Bhavan in NewDelhi today. The three day mega event has been put together at the initiative of Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the able guidance of Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal. President of Armenia H.E. Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister of Latvia H.E. Mr. Maris Kucinskis, Dy. Minister for Economic Development, Italy; Mr. Peter Bleser, Vice Minister, Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Germany; Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark were present on the occasion. Mr. Paul Bulcke, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nestle SA; Ms Amanda Sourry, Global President of Foods, Unilever; Mr. Pieter Boone, CEO, Metro AG &CEO, Metro Cash and Carry; Mr. Noel Tata, Chairman, Trent Ltd. & MD, Tata International; Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh; Chhatisgarh and MOS MoFPI Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti also joined in the inaugural function.
To mark the historic World Food Convention hosted for the first time by India, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched – Nivesh Bandhu – ( http://foodprocessingindia.co.in/)
the unique portal or “investor’s friend”. The portal will help bring together information on central and state government policies, and incentives provided for the food-processing sector. The portal maps resources upto the local level, with processing requirements. It is also a platform for business networking, for farmers, processors, traders, and logistics operators. Seven publications of Ministry of Food Processing Industries which will help investors in Food Processing Sector in making informed decisions have been included in the portal. The Prime Minister also released a Coffee table book and commemorative stamp on Indian Cuisines.
The Prime Minister highlighted India’s diverse strengths in agriculture. He said “The second largest arable land area, and as many as 127 diverse agro-climatic zones, give us global leadership in a number of crops like bananas, mangoes, guavas, papayas, and okra. We are second, globally, in terms of production of rice, wheat, fish, fruits and vegetables. India is also the world’s biggest milk producer. Our horticulture sector has shown an average growth rate of 5.5 per cent annually over the last ten years.”
Shri Modi recounted that for centuries, India has welcomed traders from distant lands, who came in search of our distinctive spices. He pointed out “Food processing is a way of life in India. It has been practiced for ages, even in the humblest of households. Simple, home-based techniques, such as fermentation, have resulted in the creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys and murabbas that now excite both the elite and the masses, across the world.”
Showcasing the big picture, PM said India is today one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The Goods and Services Tax has eliminated the multiplicity of taxes. India has jumped thirty ranks this year, in the World Bank Doing Business rankings – the highest ever improvement for India, and the highest jump for any country this year. India was ranked number one in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment. India is also rapidly progressing on the Global Innovation Index, Global Logistics Index and Global Competitiveness Index. He emphasised that starting a new business in India is now easier than ever before. Procedures for obtaining clearances from various agencies have been simplified. Archaic laws have been repealed, and the burden of compliances has been reduced.
PM noted that Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri linkages. Many international companies in India have taken a lead in contract farming initiatives. Shri Modi pointed out that there exists a clear opportunity for global super-market chains considering India as a major outsourcing hub.
PM added that “The combination of traditional Indian food, with modern technology, processing and packaging, can help the world rediscover the health benefits, and refreshing taste of Indian food ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, and tulsi, to name just a few. The perfect blend of hygienic, nutritious and tasty processed food, with the added benefits of preventive healthcare, can be produced economically in India.”
After the inaugural, the Prime Minister visited the exhibition area – the specially curated Food Street by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Food Street is a lively vibrant zone to showcase Indian and foreign cuisines using Indian ingredients, flavours and fragrances. An exhibition spread over 40,000 sq mtrs in lawns of India Gate has been mounted where more than 800 global companies representing 22 Countries & domestic companies are exhibiting their stregths in Food Processing sector. Ministry of Food Processing Industries’ Theme Pavilion provides an overview of India’s offering to the world in terms of products, geo mapping of produce availability and mega food parks.
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal noted that today is a historic day where 1st Mega Food Event is launched in India. World Food India brings together 7000 stakeholders from 60 countries, 75 International & National policy makers and Heads of State, 60 Global CEOs and 100 Indian CEOs; 5000 B2B meetings over the course of three days. Smt Badal said that her Ministry of Food Processing Industries is committed to help and handhold companies to help farmers double their income and transform India’s farm economy. She elaborated that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, has been recently launched to create world-class food processing infrastructure to leverage investment of five billion US dollars, to benefit two million farmers and generate more than half a million jobs over the next three years. Creation of Mega Food Parks is a key component of this scheme. These food parks will help link agro-processing clusters with key production centres. Nine such parks are already operational, and more than thirty others are in the process of coming up across the country.
The participating Global CEOs congratulated the Prime Minister for undertaking significant structural reforms like GST and the impressive improvement recorded by India in the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Germany, Japan and Denmark are Partner Countries to World Food India whereas Italy & Netherlands are Focus Countries. They were represented by H.E Mr Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India; H.E Mr Peter Taksøe-Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to India; H.E Mr Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of Netherlands to India; H.E. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to India who expressed keenness to deepen their investment commitment to India, to enable mutual exchange of best practices, technology and to be a part of the revolution in the food processing industry which will take place in India.
In a specially organised session showcasing India as the preferred Investment Destination for the food processing sector, the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Shri Arun Jaitley spelt out the transformational initiatives undertaken by the Government of India in the last three years. “Food Processing is a priority sector’’ said Shri Jaitley where 100% FDI, is now permitted, for trading, including through e-commerce, of food products manufactured or produced in India. Exclusive separate CEOs roundtables were also held during the day with Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
The inaugural day of World Food India 2017 saw signing of 13 MoUs worth Rs 68,000 crore. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing industries, Government of India. The companies who signed an MoU signalling their intent and seriousness about India included PepsiCo which signed an MoU worth Rs 13,300 crores for setting up a Food and Beverage plant, Coca Cola for investing Rs. 11,000 crore in juice bottling infrastructure and fruit processing plants and equipment; ITC and Patanjali who committed to investing Rs 10,000 crore each in the sector. Other MoUs signed included Amazon in food retail business, Sharaf Group of UAE for Farm produce, collection, processing and Export; YES Bank for financing food processing projects across the sector. Commenting on the MoUs, the Union Minister for Food Processing Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal stated, “The Govt has been successful in generating tremendous interest among global and Indian food companies in investing in this sector. These investments will help us realise the goal of doubling farmers‘ income as well as generating massive employment in the food processing sector. “