The food processing industry converts raw agricultural produces into products

The food processing industry converts raw

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The food processing industry converts raw agricultural produces into products with much longer shelf-life, resulting in reduction of wastages. The role of the food processing industry in India in addressing core national concerns of agricultural productivity and food inflation is regarded as essentially the need at present. The Government, industry, academia and the farming community need to work together to lift the supply of quality raw materials. The food processing industry can take this high quality and consistent supply of raw material and add value to deliver taste, nutrition and convenience at a price demanded by today’s consumers. Adequate production and distribution of food has become a high priority and global concern. In the fast changing world and 112increasing competition in a globalized economy, there is a need for exploiting the available resources at maximum level and use of best technologies available world over, to cope with domestic demand of food and also to target export market. India is one of the major producers of food crops in the world. In order to become self-sustained in food and also turn itself into a global supply hub for food products, production capabilities need to be fully exploited. The demand for processed foods, including high-end processed items, is augmenting over the years with the increasing affordability of consumers. Processing of food crops is the need at present, not only from the point of meeting growing demand but also to reduce the post-harvest loss by enhancing shelf- life of the produce. Inclusion of science and technology to the food – processing sector and promote modernization of agriculture is a must for future growth. Food processing sector in India is a growing market due to increase in per capita income and purchasing power. It has a largely untapped domestic market of 1 billion consumers. There are 300 billion Upper and Middle class who consume processed food and 200 million more consumers are expected to shift to processed food in the near future. The increasing number of working women is also a major contributor to the growing market. The prospects of food processing comprises rapid urbanization, increased literacy, changing lifestyle, more and more women in workforce, rising per capita income leading to rapid growth and new opportunities. Also, in India, 50 per cent of household expenditure is on food items.1 India needs US $ 28 billion of investment to raise food processing levels by 8 to 10 per cent. 1 Food Processing Industries, XI Plan (2007-2012) Schemes 113 India is one of the world’s major food producers but accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of international food trade. With more than 50 types of spices, India is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices. This indicates vast scope for both investors and exporters. The total food production in India is likely to double in the next ten years and there is an opportunity for large investments in food and food processing technologies, skills and equipment, especially in
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