Ministry targets 350 new food-processing units in 100 days

The ministry of food processing industries will help set up as many as 350 food processing units, envisaging investments of around Rs100,000 crore, within the next 100 days, as part of its target of creating 10 million jobs by 2015, minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai said today.

As part of its `Vision 2015' action plan, the ministry has already helped create 47 lakh new jobs during the last four years, the minister said.

Sahai said the `Vision 2015' targets formulated in 2005, during the previous term of the UPA government, aims at increasing India's level of food processing from an abysmal six per cent in 2004 to 20 per cent by 2015, value addition from 20 per cent in 2004 to 35 per cent and share in global trade from 1.5 per cent to three per cent.

He said, as a result of a slew of initiatives taken by the government and his ministry during the last five years, the food-processing sector has made rapid strides and is well on its way to achieve the targets set for 2015.

He said the level of processing has already gone up to 10 per cent with consequent wastage of perishables coming down from Rs58,000 crore a year to less than Rs50,000 crore; value addition has gone up to 26 per cent from 20 per cent earlier and the entire sector's growth rate has gone up to over 13 per cent from about 7 per cent before 2005.

He said the ministry has identified as many as 13 key areas where action needs to be taken. It has also identified nearly 100 measures that will be initiated within the first 100 days from today to facilitate and enable rapid development of the food-processing sector, he added.