Golden opportunity for Odisha to be a major destination for food processing industries: Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand

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Bhubaneswar: Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Odisha, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), organised a Roadshow today, pitching Odisha as an attractive investment destination in the food processing sector in the run up to the much-awaited global event – World Food India 2017, to be held in New Delhi from 3rd to 5th November 2017.

The Roadshow generated huge excitement among the business community of Odisha and a series of one-to-one meetings was organised today in Bhubaneswar. The event saw stakeholders from the centre, state government and representatives from agricultural and food processing industries in Odisha attend the event in large numbers. The Bhubaneswar Roadshow was attended by more than 250 delegates.

Speaking at the Roadshow, Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, Chairman, CII Odisha State Council and CMD, NALCO, said, “Food processing industry in Odisha is excited by the efforts of Ministry of Food Processing. The event which will be in line of Make in India will aim to make India an ideal destination for investments in food processing. Odisha is strategically located for not only the domestic market, but is also a gateway for Southeast Asian countries. The state is one of the major contributors to India’s agricultural strength. Odisha’s agro-climatic conditions, abundance of natural resources, large coastlines and water bodies, makes it an ideal place for businesses to invest in food processing, agricultural and allied businesses.’’

Dr. Chand added, ‘’It is a golden opportunity for Odisha to a major destination for food processing industries. The step taken by the MoFPI are important initiatives in the right direction as it will help bring synergy and make food processing an attractive proposition for domestic and global players to invest in.’’

Highlighting the growth prospects in the state, Mr. Prafulla Samal, Minister of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of Odisha, said, ‘’Today is an important day because it is the World Youth Skills Day and it is a coincidence that CII Odisha is organising this Roadshow in Bhubaneswar. One of our main objectives is to generate employment and focus on inclusive growth. We may not be known as an industrial state yet although we have a few big industrial players like NALCO, but the state government is focusing on making it a more business-friendly place to invest in. We have a natural strength in agriculture and allied activities and the MSME sector in Odisha is playing a key role in the growth of the state and generating employment. We laud the efforts of CII Odisha for providing a platform to all relevant stakeholders in the state and assure all support from the state government as we are one of the ‘Focus States’ of the World Food India 2017.’’

Representing the Centre, Mr. J P Meena, Secretary, Government of India, said, ‘’Great deal of technology is being developed to support food processing industries. India is No.1 in many agri products, but there is substantial wastage, lack of infrastructure. We cannot afford this wastage and hence the Central Government has accorded very high priority to the food processing sector. More than Rs. 31,000 crore investments can be leveraged in the next few years through the food processing sector as there is huge interest in India across the globe, including from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart.’’Mr, Meena, added, ‘’Linking agricultural production with processing to make products more affordable, ensuring food safety is a key focus area for the government. It is an opportunity for Odisha to emerge as a strong partner in this sector as the MSME sector in the state can play a crucial role.’’

The Additional Chief Secretary, MSME Department, Government of Odisha Mr L N Gupta made a presentation on food production and processing scenario in Odisha and also highlighted the essential features of Odisha Food processing Policy 2016.

Around 25 such Roadshows are planned across various states in the run up to the Mega International Event “World Food India 2017” from 3-5 November 2017 at New Delhi. Its aim is to showcase investment opportunities in India with a view to attract foreign investments and enhance India’s Food Processing Sector to a global level. Development of Food processing industry in Odisha will help enhance the income of farmers in the state and also help generate employment.

Food processing industry representatives present at the Roadshow included industry from all segments including Food processing, cold chain, agro products beverages, fisheries, dairy, organic & health food, Farmer Producer Organisations, Progressive farmers and food & industry associations.

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