What are the major roadblocks to connect India's agri-system to the food processing industry and through it to the global value chain? Discuss.
Food processing refers to transformation of raw ingredient into food or of food into some other forms by physical or chemical means. It includes processes like canning, processing, freezing, pasteurization, emulsification etc. It extends the shelf life of food, reduces food wastages, increases around the year availability and eases distribution task.
Major road blocks to connect India’s agriculture to food processing system:
- In India the land holding is fragmented which results in small and dispersed marketable surplus, low farm productivity.
- Perishability and intermediation result in lack of distribution capacity.
- Inadequate cold chain infrastructure and logistics leads to loss of 30% f produce at the farm gate.
- For transportation traditional vehicles which are used for grains unlike specialised vehicle for transportation of perishable like reefer van.
- Numerous laws that govern food safety and packaging lead to lack of co-ordination and administrative delays.
- Lack of vital peripheral infrastructure linkages such all weather roads etc
- No concrete legislation on contract and corporate farming, inadequate implementation of APMC Act
- The sector also suffers from mounting cost of finance due to land, equipments etc, lack of skilled and trained manpower, inadequate quality control.
Food processing is a link between industry and agriculture. An efficient and flourishing food processing sector would provide farmers with remunerative prices as well as consumers with variety of nutritious products.
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