09/09/2014 ….. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is concerned with formulation and implementation of the policies & plans for the food processing industries within the overall national priorities and objectives. A strong and dynamic food processing sector plays a vital role in reduction in the wastage of perishable agricultural produce, enhancing shelf life of food products, ensuring value addition to agricultural produce, diversification &commercialization of agriculture, generation of employment, enhancing income of farmers and creating surplus for the export of agro & processed foods. In the era of economic liberalization, all segments including private, public and co-operative sectors have defined roles to play and the Ministry promotes their active participation.
During the first 100 days of the new government, some of the key initiatives/ achievements/ developments in the Ministry of Food Processing are listed below:-
1. Guidelines being formulated for setting up of a Special fund of Rs.2,000 crore in NABARD to make available affordable credit to Agro-processing units being setup in designated Food Parks.
2. Excise duty on machinery for the preparation of meat, poultry, fruits, nuts or vegetables and on presses, crushers and similar machinery used in the manufacture of wine, cider, fruit juices or similar beverages and on packing machinery has been reduced from 10% to 6%.
3. MOFPI has set up Invest India and part of this initiative and Investors’ guidance Help Desk has become fully operational. This Help Desk identified food companies in countries such as Japan, Thailand and France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Poland.
4. Approval to 3 (three) Mega Food Park Projects (M/s Pristine Mega Food Part, Khagaria, Bihar; M/s Satara Mega Food Park, Satara, Maharashtra and M/s Poliyan Mega Food Park, Una, Himachal Pradesh) sanctioned in the States of Bihar, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.
5. 83 proposals received in response to the invitation of Expression of Interest (EOI) for setting up of 5 Mega Food Park Projects in the country.
6. 3 (three) approved Cold Chain Projects have become operational which were sanctioned by the Ministry under the scheme of Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure Scheme. These were (i) Shimla Horticulture, Kolkata, (ii) Sharda Agri Foods Pvt. Ltd., Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand, and (iii) Cold Star Logistic Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra.
7. 153 proposals have been received for setting up Cold Chain Projects. IMAC meeting has been held. It is expected that 18 projects will be approved shortly.
8. One abattoir project has become operational at Municipal Corporation, Shimla, under the scheme for Setting up/Modernization of Abattoirs of the Ministry.
9. Management Information System (MIS) for National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) – Centrally Sponsored Scheme of 12th Plan was launched, which enables online submission of physical and financial progress reports of various schemes of the mission, by all the State/UT Governments.
10. Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT), an autonomous institution, under the Ministry has obtained approval of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), for its B.Tech Programme.
11. Skill Development Initiative of the Ministry: Ministry does not have any specific scheme for Skill Development in the food processing sector. Accordingly Secretary, Food Processing Industries chaired a meeting on skill development in Food Processing Industries sector and following sub-sectors were identified for mapping of the job roles with an industry partner to lead the process of developing National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the identified job roles as under:
i) Bakery -ITC
ii) Dairy -Nestle India Ltd.
iii) Grain Processing -Cargill India Private Ltd.
iv) Poultry -Industry partner to be identified by the Sector Skill Council
v) Refrigeration -Amalgam Frozen Food Private Ltd.
vi) Packaging -ITC and Indian Instt. Of Packaging, Mumbai
vii) Quality Control – Shriram Institute of Industrial Research Food Testing
12. It was decided to target 10,000 persons for training in the next 12 months and the first batch of training to commence in the last week of March, 2015. NIFTEM in consultation with industry, other technical institutions and NSDC will develop high quality course content in English, Hindi and Regional languages both in print and multi-media for the job roles for each identified sub-sector. The Ministry has made a provision of Rs.6.00 crore in the BE 2014-15 for this initiative.
13. A study for Mega Food Park Scheme evaluation was awarded, in pursuance to the directions of Committee on Agriculture on Demand for Grant (2013-14) to “Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations” (ICIER), New Delhi.
14. Ministry has awarded a study on feasibility for setting up of Solar Driers in Leh and Kargil of Ladakh region of J&K State has been awarded to National Institute of Solar Energy, New Delhi (Autonomous Institute of Ministry of Non Renewable Energy)
15. “National Cold Chain Summit 2014” was organised at Guwahati. Hon’ble MOS, DONER, General (Dr.) V.K.Singh was the Chief Guest. All concerned Principal Secretaries / Secretaries of Food Processing of North Eastern States and promoters of Cold Chain Projects and various Stake holders have participated in the summit, which was also attended by Secretary, MOFPI, Chairman WDRA, Additional Secretary, MOFPI, CGM, NABARD, Secretary, APEDA etc.
16. A seminar for Creating Awareness on Food Processing and about the Ministry’s schemes was held at Srinagar on 10.6.2014. This was attended by seminar experts of Food Processing for addressing the Stake holders. The seminar was also attended by Secretary MOFPI and JS MOFPI and other senior officials of the State Govt.
17. A Special Drive for weeding out of the old files in the Ministry is continuing and so far 2986 files have been identified for destruction.
The Ministry is committed to facilitate and act as a catalyst to attract quality investments from within India and abroad into the Food Processing sector with the aim of making this sector a national initiative.