In 100-day agenda, food processing ministry to incorporate reduction of food wastage in supply chain

  • Estimates on post-harvest crop losses vary from 18% to 25% , though they are thought to be much higher, at up to 45%, for fruit and vegetables.

Puja Das, Manas Pimpalkhare
First Published19 Jun 2024, 05:31 PM IST
Union minister Chirag Paswan highlighted the vital role of the food processing sector in reducing agricultural wastage.
Union minister Chirag Paswan highlighted the vital role of the food processing sector in reducing agricultural wastage.(Mint)

New Delhi: The food processing ministry plans to reach “every farmer in every village” and set up cold storage units as part of its 100-day agenda, so that agricultural produce is not damaged in the process of farmers sending it to a unit in another state, union minister Chirag Paswan said on Wednesday.

‘Strengthening supply chain from farm to fork’

The food processing industries minister highlighted the vital role of the food processing sector in reducing agricultural wastage, promoting value addition, ensuring food security, and strengthening the supply chain from farm to fork. 

“The government of India through its whole-of-government approach has placed a great emphasis on the holistic development of the value chain across the food and allied sectors and is working towards the goal of Atma Nirbhar and Viksit Bharat,” he said after launching the website and mobile app for the third edition of World Food India, scheduled in September.

“I can only confirm the 100-day agenda after approval from the cabinet. But our priority is to extend benefits to farmers and reach every farmer in every village and promote reduction of food wastages in the supply chain,” the minister said. 

“Farmers are growing crops in one state and must go to the other for cold storage and half of perishable items like food, vegetables and fruits get damaged in transit. So, we are looking at possibilities to minimize wastage and how we can do value addition. It is possible to do when these cold storage units are localized, cold storage and units. It is natural that it will benefit farmers in that region,” he said.

Also Read: Rich man’s fruit? In a first, India plans to import avocado from Brazil to tame domestic prices

The available studies on post-harvest losses in India are not comparable and there is no emphasis on measuring food waste at the consumer level. 

Estimates of post-harvest losses in the country vary from 18% to 25% across the entire supply chain, though they are thought to be much higher, at up to 45%, for fruit and vegetables.

“India’s food processing capabilities have immense potential. Unfortunately, we still haven’t been able to achieve even 10% of what is on offer. Both international and local markets have immense possibilities in store for our food processing sector,” Paswan noted.

Also Read: Govt misses wheat procurement target for second consecutive year, procures 26.6 mt—28.7% lower than target

Ravneet Singh Bittu, Union minister of state for food processing industries, also talked about how food growers can benefit from food processing facilities. He also said that World Food India 2024 can provide a platform to local companies to showcase their products at the international level.

“The exports of processed foods have grown significantly over the years. The exports, which were at 13.7% in FY15 have grown to 25.6% in FY23. There are immense opportunities in this sector. Even the foreign direct investment was $6.185 billion during the same period. Additionally, there is a big scope for employment opportunities in this field,” said Bittu.

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First Published:19 Jun 2024, 05:31 PM IST
HomePoliticsIn 100-day agenda, food processing ministry to incorporate reduction of food wastage in supply chain

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