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AIR spotlight summary: World Food India 2017


AIR spotlight summary: World Food India 2017


 

Context:

Prime Minister inaugurated World Food India 2017 in New Delhi. This is the first time that India is hosting such an event for the Food processing sector.

It’s a mega event where 200 companies from 30 countries are participating. Germany, Japan and Denmark are the partner countries in the event. More than 50 global CEO have also attended the event.

Significance of the event:

This kind of events is a great opportunity for the country as a whole and food processing sector in particular.

PM wanted India to be seen world over with a different perspective. Earlier days India was seen as developing country. But PM wants to showcase that India is emerging nation where we have all the amenities and facilities.

This mega event will give opportunities to all these participating countries to taste the Indian cuisine, see how Indian cuisines are flourished in the years and how Indian cuisines can become household name in the coming years in the world over.

In many counties Indian restaurants are quite popular. It shows that even foreigners have started liking Indian Food. Hence such Mega events are important for showcasing the success that India has achieved in terms of cuisines.

Objectives:

Government is expecting 11 billion dollars’ worth of investment in food processing industry.

  • There are Indian entrepreneurs who built Indian brand like Hindustan unilever, Dabur. So world industry leaders would get an opportunity to meet all these companies.
  • They will get a chance to interact with the regulators, in terms of how the environment will be if they come to invest.
  • It would encourage people to invest and bring that expertise and knowledge in terms of equipment, gadgets and technology.
  • As a result huge job opportunities will be created.

PM said Food processing is a way of Life. How important is this statement for the current generation?

It is important because as Indians highly dependent on homemade foods. Indians have not moved to the modernized concept of processed food.

  • But in order to reduce wastage and take full advantage of the harvest and in order to ensure that we are able to add value to the product we have to adopt food processing as a way of life. Then only we will make sure that food is utilised in a best possible manner.

 

  • Food also India’s soft power, because the diversity we have and 120 agro climatic zones in the country. This type of mega event also helps in showcasing our diversity of the country.
  • This will bring in lot of knowledge in terms of farming practice, setting the standards.

Laws like Food safety and standards act, 2006 which we have brought in now is actually moving towards to ensure that Indian food is seen at par with the global foods.

Government has also relaxed the norms for indirect investment in food processing sector and 100 % allowed in Cold chains:

When we want to attract the people to invest in your country the most important thing is to provide proper infrastructure.

  • The government has promoted Mega food parks, in various states so that there is an easy method of people to invest.
  • There is a favourable environment for people to invest to ensure that many rules and regulations are merged to make it very simple under the single widow process.
  • All these attribute to an ease to do business.

India had 100% FDI allowed in cold chains in our country but we couldn’t get that kind of investment desired. Because that point of time government did not give stress on making energy accessible at a very competitive price. But today we will see in all the states which were starving due to lack of energy having surplus.

Now if you create that kind of an environment naturally investments would come in terms of cold chains strengthening distribution and in terms of good practices.

Need of the Hour

Food processing industry is labour intensive and these kinds of initiatives will trigger employment.

  • We need to create our own brand. Indian food brand.
  • Our food should be showcased as a healthy fast food. We have to compete in a manner that India should be seen as a leader in the healthy fast food and become more visible than what it is today.
  • Food safety is a key part. But our food wastage is very high in global standards. Food safety which is very important that’s why we need standards to ensure that safe food is accessible to the consumers.
  • Food prices have to be competitive and should be as potable as possible.
  • To bring down the prices bring in competitors, bring in investors, bring in business to compete with each other in a healthy manner.

That is where the events like this are the good initiatives in the interest of consumers.

Way forward

In a country of 1.2 billion there is huge potential of business opportunities.

PM said each district should identify one particular food and promote it. In this event the government was showcasing Kichidi.

Same food is being prepared differently in different parts of the country. That’s the speciality of Indian food.

Huge investment is being made to create global brands like McDonalds, Pizzahut etc. So government of India should also encourage entrepreneurs to create such kind of Indian brands where India will be recognised world over.

We should see how the benefits of this reach to common man.

Such events should also take place overseas so that local population can come know about Indian cuisines and Indian brands.