Union food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the food sector was set for a quantum jump in India with the Union cabinet allocating Rs 6,000 crore for restructuring ministry schemes under SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) yesterday evening.In a statement here, Mrs Badal said the huge and much needed investment in the food sector would leverage an investment of Rs. 31,400 crore. "It will also result in handling of 3.34 crore metric tonnes of agro-produce valued at more than one lakh crore and benefit twenty lakh farmers. It will also generate 5.30 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the country by 2019-20". Disclosing that the Rs 6,000 crore investment for the period 2016-20 was coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle, the Union minister said
SAMPADA would supplement agriculture, modernise processing and decrease agri-waste. “It will go a long way in doubling income of farmers and creating much needed jobs in rural areas”.Mrs Badal said the implementation of SAMPADA would result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet. "It will not only provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector but will also help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce and enhance the export of processed foods”. Mrs Badal said SAMPADA would incorporate ongoing schemes of the ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities.
The Union minister while thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a new push to food processing, said the sector was already emerging as an important segment of the Indian economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and investment. She said during 2015-16, the sector constituted as much as 9.1 and 8.6 per cent of gross value added (GVA) in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors respectively.Mrs Badal said various measures taken by the NDA government had led to seven percent growth in the food processing sector. She said this growth had been made possible by according approval to 42 Mega Food Parks and 236 Integrated Cold Chains for creation of modern infrastructure for food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market. She said besides this 100 percent FDI in trading, including through e-commerce, had been allowed with respect to food products manufactured in India.