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A staggering 25 to 30 per cent of production of fruits and vegetables in India is lost due to wastage. India ranks first few positions globally in the production of fruits and vegetables. But hardly one percent of the annual production of fruit and vegetables is processed in this country which is much lower compared to other developing nations.
Food Processing and other post-harvest technologies are the best option available to reduce the wastage of 50% of food and vegetable products and enhance food security of the country. The right post harvest practices such as good processing techniques, and proper packaging, transportation and storage can play a significant role in reducing spoilage and extending shelf life. Indians spend about 50% of household expenditure on food items. Demand for processed/convenience food is constantly on the rise. India's comparatively cheaper workforce can be effectively utilised to setup large low cost production bases for domestic and export markets. A chain-linked model of food processing at rural level can be developed using NBMS (Nodal-Big-Medium-Small) model and involving the Self Help Groups. The capital required for this business will be evenly distributed among the groups lessening the economic burden on them and the ongoing schemes and grants of different government departments can be clubbed together to assist the Self Help Groups to enter into this foray.
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- Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, Hon'ble Minister for Food Processing Industries in his speech Food world India 2005 organised by FICCI on 28-30 Nov. 2005 at Kolkata
- 8th Five Year Plan (Vol.-2), Planning Commission of India
- Why Invest in Indian Food Processing Sector? – Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India
- Press Information Bureau release dated 27.02.2007 (pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=25142)
- Ministry of Food Processing, Govt. of India: http://mofpi.nic.in