Food Processing Industry in India

Prior to focusing on current trends of the food processing industry in India, it won’t be inappropriate to succinctly speak of history of the sector.

It was about four decades back that food processing industry of the sub-continent started to display growth for the first time. In that initial phase, processing of milk, rice and sugarcane, to name a few, were the chief operations.  Gradually, dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables found their way into the avenue.

The business fraternity of India promptly understood the tremendous potential of the industry and it endeavored in no uncertain terms to abet the development. That, along with governmental support, has brought about the present scenario where the sector is growing impressively. 

Indian food processing sector – salient aspects

These are several salient aspects regarding the food processing industry in India.

  • The extraordinary success of both white and also the green revolutions is the major reason for excellent growth of the country’s food processing sector. A significant increase in standard of living in India, together with urbanization, is going to pave the way for further development of this industry.
  • The food processing industry of India is growing at very fast pace, mainly due to several initiatives of the government. For instance, the guidelines related to FDI (foreign direct investment) are made more flexible by the government.
  • Fruits & vegetables, dairy, fisheries, poultry & meat processing, among others, are few sub-segments of the food processing sector of sub-continent.
  • Presently, when the entire food sector of India is considered, roughly 1/3 of that is constituted of food processing.
  • There has been huge volume of overseas investments in the Indian sector of food processing, during the course of preceding 15 years.
  • The industry (Indian food processing) is scrupulously adhering to several quality systems such as ISO 9000 and ISO 22000. The fact that this will lead to further growth of the sector necessitates no special mention. 
  • The demand for food processed in India is on a consistent rise, in several regions of the Globe.
  • Apart from all that, it also has to be highlighted that; the growth of food processing industry shall provide numerous employment opportunities to deserving aspirants. Organic chemists, food technologists, engineers and analytical chemists, etc, are few of the job profiles that are paramount in the sector.  

Challenges

Notwithstanding the remarkable growth, this sector is still being bogged down by quite a few issues. Let us now have a glance of some of those.

  • Fragmentation of supply chain system is one of the major hindrances in the food processing industry of the country (India). Owing to that, along with high costs, there is high amount of wastage. 
  • Agricultural produce leaving the fields is confronted by the issue of unavailability of appropriate storage facilities.
  • One more challenge is that, there is serious shortage of manpower possessing skills that are essential for food processing operations.
  • Considering the vast size of India’s food processing sector, the number of agencies issuing certification as well as laboratories is very less.

With the significant growth rate of the industry, it is just a matter of time before the above-mentioned issues get successfully resolved. Subsequently, only sky is the limit, with respect to the extent to which the Indian food processing industry can develop. And, that is not at all an exaggeration!

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