Moment of the week – ‘Foreign investment deals worth $10 b already done in food processing sector’

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Foreign investment deals worth $10 billion have already been closed, and the figure may go up further after the conclusion of World Food India in November, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.

Speaking at a curtain raiser for the global mega food event World Food India (WFI), to be held from November 3-5 in New Delhi, Badal said she was confident that partnering with global industry would transform the food economy and double farmers’ income, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as reduce post-harvest losses. Without disclosing further details of the $10-billion deals, Badal said: “This is just the start. We have beaten the target for the next 2-3 years. All I can disclose at this point is that the deals are in areas such as cold chains, food processing, dairy, marine etc.”

When asked about FDI in non-food items, such as personal care products, the Minister said she was “very hopeful and positive”, even though the Department of Industry and Policy Promotion was the decision-making body. WFI will provide a platform to over 200 companies from 30 countries, 18 ministerial and business delegations and about 50 global CEOs, from Nestle, Cargill, Kellogs, Mondelez, Tesco, Amway and Walmart, among others.

From India, 27 States are likely to participate, along with CEOs from companies such as ITC, Patanjali, Godrej, Haldiram, Bikano, etc. The event will also showcase the best of Indian and international cuisine at the Food Street, to be curated by WFI’s brand ambassador, chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Japanese interest

At the curtain raiser, Japan’s Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said over 60 companies and 15 CEOs from his country would participate, adding that their key interest areas were cold chains and food processing. “High-quality Japanese liquor will also be showcased,” he said, adding that there had been a big increase in investments by Japanese companies into India from about $2 billion in 2015 to $7 billion in 2016.

Denmark’s Ambassador Peter Takse Jensen said his country was partnering WFI as it gave an opportunity to connect and collaborate with India, adding that “organic food was an area that was seeing good activity by Danish companies.”

Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands, said his country was known for higher yields in smaller areas, and called for focus on “water managed crops” rather than water-intensive crops. Stoleinga, who recently visited Kashmir, said: “Dutch apple trees have yields five times higher (than India) and can be planted in higher altitudes,” adding that Kashmiri farmers had told him that they wanted to switch from rice to apples.

Source: Business Line.

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