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Indian Food Processing Sector

Food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. The industry is estimated at Rs 13.96 lakh crore and is expected to reach 18 lakh crore by 2016. The government has also helping the sector by setting up of five numbers of Mega Food Parks in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It has also set up a corpus of Rs. 20,000 million for NABARD to fund upcoming food processing units at a lower interest rate. In India, most food is consumed in its fresh form as most of the vegetables and fruits are available round the year thanks to varied weather conditions across the country. Only a small quantity is processed for value addition. However, the trend is changing gradually with changing life style and advancement in food processing technology. Now we get processed ready-to-eat traditional items like Idli, Palak Paneer and similar other items.

A large part of the Indian food market is dominated by unorganized players (42%) and the small scale sector (33%), leaving only around 25 percent with the organized players.

Indian Food processing industry has to grow, which will reduce food wastage on account of fragmented supply chain, suboptimal quality products and lower prices result in high wastage of produce at the farm level. Further, there is lack of adequate storage and market infrastructure like weighting, auction platform, and packaging and cold storages resulting in losses to the farmer.