India to lure investment in food processing

Added On November 13, 2017

The Indian government has stepped up its efforts to attract foreign investors, particularly in India's fast-growing food and agri-business processing industry. 
CNC correspondent in New Delhi reports more on this from the recently concluded "World Food India". 
Aiming to transform the food economy, India has recently convened its first ever "World Food India" expo in a grand fashion. 
The three-day event was mainly aimed at providing investment opportunities in India's burgeoning food processing sector to investors worldwide.
SOUNDBITE1 (English): SAMI KHAN, Rabo Equity Advisors
"Areas we are looking at everything in food and agri-business - A to Z of the value-chain. We invested in cold-chain logistics, we invested in grain companies. Our message to international investors is that India is a place to be. There are a lot of pro-active steps the government is taking that's to make much more friendly investment climate. And we have already seen results on the ground. So as far as the investment opportunities are concerned, India has a potential to be the leader as far as food and agri-business are concerned."
SOUNDBITE2 (English): KENNETH LINDHARTH MADSEN, Danish Agriculture & Food Council
"We have a number of companies (present in India). But in the delegation, we have 21 companies participating and more than half of them already have investments in India and they are looking to scale-up their business in India. "
Being a partner country, Denmark has brought technologies to address India's logistic problems. 
Over a dozen of Danish companies have confirmed their investment-uptake in the sector which is marred by high transportation cost. 
The Indian government has vowed to lower the transportation cost in order  to make Indian products more competitive in global markets. 
In addition, other sectors in food and agri-business have garnered  attention from Australia, Japan and Europe, among others.
World's biggest retailer Walmart has already been present in India with 21 cash-and-carry stores, dealing with one million Indian customers.
The giant retailer was also looking upbeat about the growing food consumption in India.  
SOUNDBITE3 (English): RAJNEESH KUMAR, Senior VP, Walmart India
"Everybody realizes this now that to make this whole food processing industry and this whole cycle of this engine of growth grow, the only important piece is how can you make selling in India easy. So it will help food processing industry to grow and it will help Indian farmers not just double their income but may be treble or quadruple their income. "
Increasing urbanization, growing number of middle-class and rising disposable incomes are fueling the demand for wholesome and processed food in India.
Food-processing industry in the country has been growing in double-digits in recent years, making the sector among high-profit yielding industries. 
Over the last five years, exports of processed food grew at an annual rate of over 11 percent.   
The 600-billion-U.S. dollar food-retail sector in India is expected to triple by 2020. 
In order to tap this immense potential, the Indian government is setting up 42 mega food-parks for processing industries across the country. 
STANDUP (English): ASHWANI UPADHYAY, CNC correspondent
"As they say there are two kinds of people in the world. One who eats just to remain alive and the second who live to have food. Indians seem to belong to the second category as they love to have food. Vegetarian or is a market present or readily available of 1.3 billion food-lovers ready to consume your product."