Odisha emerging as an ideal investment destination for food processing companies in the country; Odisha aims to introduce local food brands in global market

New Delhi: With a bigger objective of taking local food products with specific brands to the global market, the Odisha Government is giving a major boost to large number of micro unorganized food processing units within the state for development under the PMFME (PM Formalization for Micro Food Processing Enterprises) scheme.

Addressing a webinar titled ‘Investment Opportunities in Food Processing Sector in Odisha’ jointly organized by the Government of Odisha and FICCI on 29th January, Mr Satyabrata Sahu Principal Secretary of MSME Department, Government of Odisha said, “Under the PMFME’s ‘One District One Product’ (ODOP) scheme, the state government has identified 30 different products for 30 districts. Each of the district has its unique advantage and each would have its food-based product clusters for promotion of the local food processing industries operating in the organized sector.”

“In the ‘60:40’ funding pattern prescribed under the central scheme, 60 per cent amount would be borne by the Union Government and rest 40 per cent would be funded by the state government,” informed Mr Sahu and added that finance would never be a problem for promotion of the local food processing industries in the state.

He also added that various food products from different districts of the state can now be promoted in global markets with specific branding. “The promotion of micro food processing units run by women SHGs are mostly targeted through the initiative by the state government under PMFME scheme.”

“Recently, Odisha has been awarded for good fishery producing practices and the state government has earmarked about 6 lakh hectares of land for brackish water shrimp cultivation which would further escalate sea food processing and export in the state,” shared Mr Sahu.

Speaking about the tremendous investment opportunity Odisha offers in the food processing sector, Mr Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Industries department, Government of Odisha said, “Odisha today is the most advantageous state so far as ‘Ease of Doing Business’ is concerned. The state has established a regulatory business environment to extend all support and facilitation to the upcoming industries.”

“The four key pillars of food processing industry requirement namely, ready-to-move infrastructure, a consistent industrial policy framework, political and financial stability and effective industrial facilitation mechanism, have been very well taken care of in the state,” said Mr Sharma. He added that for the best management of single-window system under industry facilitation Programme, the industry promotion wing of the state government, IPICOL has been rated with highest rank by Ministry of DPIIT.

Mr Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra, OSD, Industries Department, Government of Odisha pointed out that Odisha has been a pioneer in attracting investment in various sectors of industries. The food processing sector having huge potential of growth and employment generating capacity, has been included in the six focus sectors of the Odisha Government wherein, upcoming industries are allowed various incentives and subsidies for setting up their business units within the state.

“The state has already set up two food parks and some more are in the pipeline, which would provide suitable business environment for the food processing industries,” Mr Mishra said.

Dr Nitin B Jawale, Managing Director, IPICOL said, “Over the last two decades the food processing sector in Odisha has gone for a massive change and this can be termed as a “Green Revolution” in the state. “The 10 agro-climatic zones, vast coastline, four operational ports with good rail and road connectivity along with an industry-friendly policy framework of the state government, offers ample growth opportunities for upcoming industries in the sector”, he said.

In his presentation, Mr Md Sadique Alam, Director of Industries, MSME Department informed that Odisha produces about 8.5 million tons of cereals & pulses, 0.97 million tons of fruits and 6.62 million tons of vegetables.

Further Mr Alam told that besides, proximity of the state to major South-East Asian Markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. makes a favoured destination for investors in the food processing sector.

Mr Mohit Anand, Co-Chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee & MD, Kellogg India Pvt Ltd, elucidated on how the sector provides vital linkages between the two pillars of economy viz agriculture & industry. He added that the country has achieved tremendous growth in the food processing sector in last few years & has become one of the largest in terms of production and it is important that Odisha should follow the bandwagon & come up with suitable policies to facilitate investment in the food processing sector.

The interactive webinar was well-attended by industry leaders including Acharya Balkrishna, MD, Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd; Mr K Bhasker Reddy, MD of Creamline Dairy Products Ltd; Mr Alex Ninan, MD, Baby Marine Group and Mr Subodh Jindal, President, All India Food Processors’ Association.