Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has stressed the need for concerted efforts to accelerate growth in the agriculture and food processing sectors in the country. Encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is the need of the hour to make the sectors commercially viable, he has said.
He was addressing an interactive panel session on ‘Nourishing the Food System’ at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit-2017, organised in New Delhi on Thursday.
Mr. Naidu said both the State and Central governments would have to join hands to encourage PPPs in agriculture and food processing.
The governments would have to formulate and implement suitable policies that stimulate growth in these sectors. Also, the governments would have to invest huge money. All the stakeholders would have to join hands to give the much-needed impetus to the food processing sector, he said.
Stating that standalone units cannot survive, he said there was a need for medium and mega food parks to make it more economical and commercially viable.
Food habits of the people were also changing. People were switching over to fruits, livestock, and milk products from rice. As a result, aquaculture gained importance and had vast potential and growth prospects.
“Aquaculture has grown at the rate of 42% in Andhra Pradesh. The State can become an aquaculture hub, given its long coastline of 974 km,” he explained.
“I want to implement all the technologies available in the world for strengthening forward and backward linkages in the agriculture market. The State government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would organise a global event on technologies in agriculture in November in which Bill Gates will also participate,” he added.
Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Reuters Market Light India founder Amit Mehra, Nestle India CMD Suresh Narayanan, UPL Ltd. Global CEO Jai Shroff, and IDFC Institute CEO and Senior Fellow Reuben Abraham were present.