“Food processing is a way of life in India. It has been practiced for ages. Simple, home-based techniques, such as fermentation, have resulted in the creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys and murabbas that excite both the elite and the masses across the world,” Modi said.
“India has jumped 30 ranks in the World Bank ‘doing business‘ rankings. India was ranked number 1 in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment. India is also rapidly progressing on the ‘Global Innovation Index‘, ‘Global Logistics Index‘ and ‘Global Competitiveness Index‘,” he said.
“Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri linkages. This is a clear opportunity for global chains,” he said.
“There are opportunities in post-harvest management, like primary processing and storage, preservation infra, cold chain and refrigerated transportation. There is also immense potential for food processing and value addition in areas such as organic and fortified foods,” he added.
“Lifestyle diseases are raising consciousness globally about the nature and quality of food consumption. There is growing awareness of the use of artificial colours and chemicals. India can offer a solution… Increasing urbanisation and the growing middle-class has boosted food industry in India,” Modi said, adding that India’s economy was in “high gear”.
“Our farmers, who we respectfully call our annadata, are central to our efforts in food processing,” Modi added. “We launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to create world-class food processing infrastructure. This will leverage investment worth $5 billion, benefit 2 million farmers and create more than half a million jobs,” he said.
“The food processing industry is a top priority under ‘Make in India’,” Modi said. “Food processing holds solutions to nutrition security. Our coarse grain and millets have high nutritional value. They can withstand adverse agro-climatic conditions. Can we take up a venture based on these? It will raise farmers’ income and also enhance nutrition levels,” he said.
Over 800 kgs of khichdi will be prepared live on 4 November at the festival in a bid to create a world record and popularise the dish globally. A giant seven-metre kadhai with a 100-litre capacity will be used to cook the khichdi on slow steam. The khichdi will be prepared by renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who has been roped in as brand ambassador of the ‘Great India Food Festival‘, for the three-day event that started on Friday.