Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today urged farmers to take maximum benefit of the Kisan Sampada scheme and become entrepreneurs in their own right.Addressing a select audience at the World Food India (WFI) road show here, the Union minister said WFI, which was being held in Delhi from November 3 to 5, would provide a unique opportunity to farmers and farmer organisations to find international partners to market their produce. “There is immense scope for exporting honey, oats, juices, and vegetable products in the international market besides tying up with international agencies for joint ventures in WFI”, she added.Speaking about the Kisan Sampada scheme, Mrs Badal said it would benefit twenty lakh farmers and generate more than five lakh direct and indirect jobs in the next three years. She said farmers could avail of the scheme by becoming part of mega food parks being opened across the country or themselves form mini clusters or even establish own individual food processing units. “Only by making food processing a mass movement can we double income of our farmers in the next three years”, she added.Speaking about food processing in Maharashtra, the union minister said the State held immense growth potential with eight agri-export zones appropriate for the cultivation of various horticulture crops like mangoes, grapes and pomegranates.
She said the State contributed 11 per cent to the total output of the Indian food processing industry. She said the sector had attracted investment worth Rs 1,039 crore to provide huge growth opportunities and allow development of 4 Mega Food Parks and 27 projects under Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Scheme.Mr Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Mr Pandurang Fundkar, Minister for Agriculture also addressed the gathering. Mr. Ashwini Malhotra,Chairman, CII WR Task Force and Managing Director, Weikfield Foods invited people to World Food India 2017. He said WFI had received tremendous response across the globe and would witness participation from over 20 countries. Italy has confirmed to be a Focus Country and Haryana and Andhra Pradesh will be Partner States. More than 10 States and all leading giants from India and abroad in food processing, food technology, technology and equipment players, cold chains, ingredients and food retailers would be present at WFI. Mr Malhotra said WFI would provide a platform to showcase offerings and services along the food value chain which included production, processing, packaging, technology, equipment, storage, logistics and retail.