Rs 1250 cr waiting for food processing outfits

New Delhi, Sept 20 (KNN) As much as Rs 1250 crore is lying unused under the National Mission of Food Processing (NMFP) and the government is looking for organizations which can avail of these funds to set up food processing infrastructure.

“The Funds are available for setting up of non-horticulture products, cold-chain, food processing industries, setting up of abattoirs, meat shops, purchase of reefer vehicles and setting up of primary processing centres/collection centres so that farmers produce can be stored scientifically,” Joint Secretary to Government of India and Mission Director for NMFP, U Venkateswarlu said.

The main objective of the scheme is to increase the level of processing, reduction of wastage, value addition, enhance the income of farmers as well as increase exports thereby resulting in overall development of food processing sector. The scheme envisages extending the financial assistance for establishment of new food processing units as well as technology upgradation and expansion of existing units in the country.

NMFP will support established self-help groups working in the food processing sector to facilitate them to achieve SME status and help them in capacity development and skill upgradation through institutional training to ensure sustainable employment opportunities to the people and also to reduce the gap in requirement and availability of skilled manpower in food processing sector.

NMFP works towards developing value chain for food products to provide integrated and complete cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities without any break, from the farm gate to the consumer from the production site to the market.

In this context, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is in touch with the state ministers of food processing industries (FPI) to ensure that the mission gets a good response and the food processing industry gets a boost.
 
NMFP was launched during 12th Plan in order to attract investment for developing value chain for food products; setting up/modernization of food processing industries; and making food products available to the consumers in hygienic form.

India's exports of processed food were Rs 41,309.04 crore in 2012-13.

In the five years ending 2011-12, it grew at an average annual rate of 8.6 per cent; during this period, the manufacturing sector grew at 7.7 per cent and agriculture at 3.8 per cent per year.
 
In 2011, nearly 17 lakh people were employed by food processing industries and another 48 lakh in the unorganized food processing activities.

The food processing ministry runs programmes under which assistance is given for a range of activities including setting up of mega food parks and cold chain infrastructure, modernising abattoirs, upgrading food testing labs and quality control. 

Food processing sector is one of the largest sectors in India in terms of production, growth, consumption, and export. India's food processing sector covers fruit and vegetables; spices; meat and poultry; milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, soya-based products, mineral water, high protein foods etc.