New Delhi: Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said $11.25 billion investments were committed in the country’s food processing sector during the World Food India event, and with government funds put together, the total investments signed have reached $18.84 billion.

Badal announced that a dedicated cell has been put in place to ensure each of the 50 memoranda of understandings (MoUs) signed materialise on the ground level and help boost food processing levels from the current 10%.

She also said that Maharashtra and Telangana governments announced their own food processing policy at the event and called upon other states to do so.

“I happy to share 50 MoUs were signed worth $11.25 billion, which is close to Rs74,000 crore. ...Along with what the ministry is going to spend on infrastructure, I am happy to announce $18.84 billion investment been signed," Badal said at the concluding session of the World Food India event organised by the government along with the industry body CII.

Of which, about $2.5 billion worth of MoUs have been signed between state governments and stakeholders, she said and added that Punjab and Haryana have got the bulk of the investment. The US, the UAE, Germany, the Netherlands and France have announced big amount of investments in the country’s food processing sector, she added.

The minister further said the investments are promised in areas of food processing, beverages, logistics, wholesale and retailing, e-commerce, organic farming among others. “We have signed about 50 MoUs. These are not just pieces of papers that we have signed. A lot of homework has gone into it. A lot of work which is going to get done," she said.

The minister also assured of full support to ensure investments flow on the ground level and work begins as agreed in the MoUs. Badal said she will not only “personally monitor" implementation of each MoU but a dedicated cell and a team been put in place to follow up with investors.

The three-day World Food India, which concluded Sunday, saw participation from 60 countries and over 50 global CEOs.

A Guinness World Records was also created by cooking 918kg of Khichdi (traditional multi-grain dish) at the event. Minister of state for food processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and food processing secretary JP Meena and CII president designate Rakesh Bharti Mittal were present at the valedictory programme.

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