Food processing can reduce crop wastage: Harsimrat Kaur

Sector provides immense business opportunities to countries looking to invest in India.

New Delhi: The country's rapidly growing food processing sector can reduce crops wastage and help farmers to get right price for their produce, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Thursday.

Besides, this sector provides immense business opportunities to the countries that are looking to invest in India, the food processing minister said. Our aim is to save our crops from wastage.

In case of over-production of crops, sometimes farmers are compelled to throw it if better prices are not offered. During over-production they can process it and keep it or come out with a product of their own. For example, they can process tomatoes and pack it and sell later on, she told reporters on the sidelines of FICCI event here.

Similarly, onion can be processed and packed and sold later on. In this way, our crops can be saved from getting wasted and farmers will get better prices for their produce, she added.

The minister further said this is also good from consumers point of view as processing of crops can check the price rise. The sector provides immense opportunities and investors from all over the world are welcome to invest in the country, Badal said.

To promote this industry the prime minister had approved Rs 6,000 crore central scheme 'SAMPADA'. Under the scheme, she said, the money will be used to create infrastructure which will help in generating an investment of Rs 31,400 crore and is expected to benefit 20 lakh farmers and create about 5 lakh direct and indirect employment.

"We are sanctioning funds so that if a farmer wants to set up a cold storage or process crop...the person can do so. This way, he can get himself linked with market," she said.

"We are the fastest growing economy, so no country can ignore us. The economy is growing rapidly anyone related with retail industry is welcome to invest in the sector," Badal said.

( Source : PTI )
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