A well-developed food processing industry will not only help in achieving the food security goal, but will also promote inclusive growth. Discuss. Also, highlight the competitive advantage that India posses in this sector.

Food processing industry provides a significant possibility to achieve the twin goals of inclusive growth and food security.

Significance:

  • Enables crop diversification and improved revenue for farmers.
  • Increases shelf life of food items.
  • Prevents wastage and distress selling by farmers.
  • Ensures availability of food items all over India (Amul butter, canned fish available all India).
  • Provides employment in industrial sector.
  • Industrial development in rural areas.
  • Earns valuable foreign exchange.
  • Inclusive growth through greater revenue for farmers than just raw produce.
  • Enables food security by helping in preservation and transport (e.g. Amul baby milk powder – cheap nutrition for infants all over India).

Competitive advantage:

  • Largest dairy producer worldwide.
  • Large cropping season and varied climate supports many different crops.
  • Long coastline provides ample marine production.
  • Large domestic market.
  • Large expatriate community, demand all round the world for pickles, milk products, etc.
  • Constitutionally sanctioned system of cooperatives helps in easier conglomeration of producers into cooperative units – fair prices.

The food processing sector holds immense potential. While the government has devised schemes like SAMPADA, Mega Food Parks, on-ground implementation through proper cold storage infrastructure, proper transport, credit availability should be ensured for proper success of the sector.

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