Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Food Processing Industries, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj today virtually inaugurated the India – International Food & Agri Week being organised from 16th to 22nd October 2020. Addressing the inaugural session, Tomar said that Indian food processing sector is 32% of India’s food market. He said that the focus of this agro and food tech is the use of technology in the field of food and agriculture sector to increase the income of farmers. He said that this is in line with the goal set by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers by 2022.
Speaking on the potential of food and agriculture sector, Tomar added that India’s agriculture and rural economy is very robust. He said that proper marketing and latest technology can lead to greater development of the agriculture sector and significant steps have been taken in this direction under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He added that GDP growth rate in Agriculture is 3.4% and this sector has contributed hugely to India’s economic growth even during Covid times. MoFPI has started an awareness campaign named ‘Anna Devo Bhava’ to mark this occasion. He stressed that along with increasing awareness about the value of food we must also focus on reducing food wastage.
Explaining the initiatives of MOFPI, he shared that under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, MoFPI has started PMFME (PM Formalisation of Micro food Enterprises) scheme with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crores. This scheme will support 2 lakh micro food processing units with credit linked subsidy and would focus on supporting the SHGs, FPOs and cottage industry. Union Minister said that MoFPI is working with Commerce Ministry which has shortlisted ready to eat food and fruits and vegetables for its export markets. Government is moving towards branding of food products and creation of Market Development board.
Tomar shared that MoFPI started PM Kisan Sampada Scheme for modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets. MFP scheme is an important element of PMKSY whose objective is to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together the farmers, processors and retailers. As of now 37 MFPs have been approved out of which 20 have begun operations. Ministry has expanded the Operation greens scheme from TOP to TOTAL. Under this scheme, Ministry will provide 50% subsidy for transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre for six months and/or Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of 3 months)
Addressing the 14th edition of the Agro and Food Tech, Tomar added that it is an appropriate platform to showcase the products, services and technology available in the agriculture and related sectors. He said that all stakeholders present at this event would benefit from the latest technologies, solutions and opportunities presented in this event.
CII in association with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries & Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, is organizing its first ever Virtual CII Agro & Food Tech : India – International Food & Agri Week from 16th to 22nd October 2020 on CII HIVE – virtual platform with an intent to create a platform for the benefit of the stakeholders involved in the agriculture & allied sectors. Uday Kotak, President, CII and Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern region also addressed the session.