The Organic Food festival would provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs for capacity building and economic empowerment, said Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Inaugurating the 3-day long festival in New Delhi on 21 February, the Union Minister highlighted the need for providing such platforms on regular basis for financial inclusion and empowerment of women and said that the Government is planning to hold Organic food festivals more frequently and in different parts of the country depending on unique organic products of particular region.
The Organic Food Festival was jointly inaugurated byHarsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries and Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles.
Rameshwar Teli, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Woman and Child Development were also present. The Organic Food Festival for Women Entrepreneurs is as an outcome of the MoU (which aims at building capacities of women entrepreneurs) signed between the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Ministry of Women and Child Development .
Harsimrat Kaur Badal said India has huge potential for organic produce and market. She added that most of the hilly areas and tribal areas in India are naturally organic. The FPI Minister said that while other parts of world are making special efforts to turn towards organic production, India has natural advantages which must be leveraged. She further said that this organic festival can be of international scale in near future.
Smriti Irani said that Ministry of Food Processing Industries can, through the Organic Food Festival, engage with technology groups so that latest technology can be made available to women entrepreneurs.
Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, FPI said that Ministry of FPI will showcase achievements of women entrepreneurs through this festival. She said that Food and Beverage industry in India is fifth largest sector in manufacturing and that, India has the highest number of organic producers in the world.
Spread over an area of 6000 sqms of space, this is the first such event where 180+ women entrepreneurs and self-help groups are participating from over 25 States and Union Territories with very interesting products on display from across the country. These are indigenous to the geography and are otherwise difficult to access. Kiwi from Arunachal Pradesh, Black wheat, pesto Sauce from Ladakh, chia seeds cookies and apricot oil from Uttarakhand are all available with the exhibitors and the people can relish these healthy products. This festival will strive to provide linkages to women producers to market and supply chains, thereby facilitating their financial inclusion.
The overall effort is targeted towards strengthening ‘Organic’ Branding for India by enhancing direct linkage of local producers with Buyers, enhancing processing potential of organic output and contribute to India’s vision of enhancing export competitiveness and Create a direct impact to women farmer incomes and in turn empowerment.