New Delhi, Nov 3: Emphasising India’s upward jump in the World Bank Report rankings for “ease of doing business”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a call to global leaders, captains of industry and private sector to become a part of India’s growth journey in the food processing sector.
Inaugurating the first-ever World Food India 2017 here, Mr Modi said the food processing sector held the key to raising rural incomes across the value chain and that state governments could play a vital role by specialising in at least one farm produce that can be marketed in the world. Each district should also identify its potential and strength in food processing sector that will draw world attention.
It is expected that India will attract Foreign Direct Investment to the tune of 11 billion dollars during the three-day World Food India 2017 event.
The event was attended among others by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis, Ministers from Italy, Germany and Denmark, Chief Ministers Raman Singh and N Chandrababu Naidu.
Seeking investments in “contract farming”, Mr Modi asked global supermarket chains to look at India as a major outsourcing hub. “There is a great opportunity here for investing in logistics, infrastructure, cold chains, refrigeration transportation and in niche areas such as organic farming and fortified foods.’’
Sharing the dais were global heads of Nestle, Unilever, Metro cash and carry and Tata International and many others.
The Prime Minister said the government had taken several crucial steps to attract investment in the sector such as repealing archaic laws, simplifying procedures for clearances and reducing burden of compliance.
“The Good and Services Tax eliminates multiplicity of taxes, 100 per cent FDI in trade and manufacturing and Single Window clearances are key reforms to help the food processing industry. “Hand holding” extends to loans and priority sector lending for agro processing,” he said.
Stressing India’s supremacy in production of cereals, milk, fruits, vegetables, Mr. Modi said the “blue revolution” in fisheries, organic farming and the potential in the north-east were areas that have much to offer.
“Can we link India’s potential in the sector with world’s requirement.? Can we have joint ventures that can raise incomes and add nutrition value to the farm produce? Can we link to world markets?” the Prime Minister asked.
On the occasion, Mr Modi opened “Nivesh Bandhu”, an online portal that will give all infrastructure and agriculture potential information to an investor for every state and union territory in the country.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the host of the event, described the event as “historic” and said 8,000 exhibitors from 60 countries were participating at the event.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Ms Badal, later visited the exhibition venue on India Gate lawns. 
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