The Food Processing Ministry will prepare a National Food Map that will showcase agriculture and livestock produce for suitable interventions in vulnerable areas. A ‘Brand India’ will be launched for exports in the food processing sector and State-specific brands will be developed for the domestic market.
Unveiling the Ministry’s plans, Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the National Food Map will also identify States with food processing potential and areas for better strategising.
“The new government’s focus area is to use agro-technology to boost agro-based industry,” she said at a roundtable meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Identifying the Ministry’s priority areas, she said, the government would install food processing growth engines at the farm level to prevent wastage and boost agriculture. Apart from this there would be emphasis on optimising yield per acreage of land through use of better technology which will also bring benefits to farmers.
The north-east region would be developed into organic food processing zones and there would be special food processing zones in the country.
The Minister emphasised the need for developing small-scale food processing units for women to make them financially self-reliant, as well as to bring up a skilled work force.
Responding to demands of the industry, Ms. Badal gave them the assurance that she would take up issues relating to Food Safety Standards Authority of India with the Union Health Minister, particularly for cutting down delays in product approvals.
She said the perception that processed food was for the elite and not for the common man “needs to be shunned.”