Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the food sector is set for a quantum jump in the country with the Union Cabinet allocating Rs 6,000 crore for restructuring Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing clusters (SAMPADA).
In a statement here, the food processing minister said that 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 20 lakh farmers. It will also generate 5.30 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the country by 2019-20,” she said.
Disclosing that the Rs 6,000 crore investment for the period 2016-20 was coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle, the 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,” she said.
She said that 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,” she said.
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.
Various measures taken by the NDA government had led to seven per cent growth in the food processing sector, she said.
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 per cent FDI in trading, including e-commerce, had been allowed with respect to food products manufactured in India.