The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by Narendera Modi formed the government at the centre on May 27 four years ago. The BJP has held that 'universal food security' is integral to national security. In its election manifesto, BJP noted that it will take steps to ensure that the benefits of the scheme reach the common man and that the right to food does not remain an Act on paper or a political rhetoric. It will review all the laws and schemes, in consultation with the states, to ensure a corruption-free efficient implementation of food security, which would be a priority. The BJP noted that it will review the successful Public Distribution System (PDS) models, and incorporate the best practices to revise the existing PDS, for benefitting the common man; Address the issue of under-nutrition and malnutrition; Encourage the production of cereals, pulses and oils; Radically transform the Food Corporation of India (FCI); Ensure contingency stocks for any exigencies arising due to natural calamities or external factors and Seek the participation of voluntary organizations in running community kitchens. Now with completion of four years in office of Modi government, NuFFooDS Spectrum spoke to the industry about the achievements of the government and what are the issues that still need the government’s attention.
The new policy announcements and the steps taken by Narendra Modi led government to enhance the growth of the food processing industries have been tremendous and game changing. The Indian food processing sector is one of the most vital contributors to the economic growth and is estimated to be at $130 billion. The Indian government has been working on and rolling out several new policies, which not only supports the existing food industry but also allows a 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in this sector increasing the competition and improving the production standards at large. Also, at the same time providing incentives to support the growth of massive food market. With the rise in the development of food processing industries, the government has approved for 56 Mega food parks to bring producers, processors, and sellers together ensuring the overall development of the sector. The government is importing and providing the industry with functional and equipped state of the art machinery for storage of fresh produce and processing of the same. Sharing his views about the achievements of the government in the last four years, Vijay Surya, CEO, NutriParadise Foods says “With the aim to fulfil the growing demands and at the same time maintaining the standards of production, the government is investing on research and development (R&D) - crucial for the advancement in any field. It has approved 45 major projects along with Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) to reduce food wastage, increase productivity, improve processing methods and enhance storage efficiency. To ensure the safety of the products and increase the standards, the government is providing loans up to 50 per cent of the equipment cost to set up food testing laboratories in India. Such steps not only ensure the survival of the industry but at the same time also showcase the government’s support to the food industry.” “Increasing customs duty on processed products from fruits and vegetables is another measure taken by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) to encourage domestic industries. This also boosts the Make in India project which can aid Indian food processors to flourish in the market,” Vijay Surya adds.
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