CHANDIGARH,24.06.21-CII organised the 3rd Edition of the CII Northern Region Food Processing Summit through virtual platform. Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare & Food Processing Industries was the Chief Guest on the occasion.

In his inaugural address, Shri Tomar said that GoI has taken a number of initiatives to utilize the food and horticulture capacity of the country to encourage investments as also to provide a flourishing environment to the existing industry. Speaking further, Shri Tomar emphasized that the Government of India is committed to the development of Food Processing Sector and in this regard, as a part of Prime Minister’s announcement of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Government of India has approved a new Central Sector Scheme namely ‘Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry’ for implementation during 2021-22 to 2026-27 with an outlay of Rs. 10,900 crores to support creation of global food manufacturing champions commensurate with India's natural resource endowment and support Indian brands of food products in the international markets.

Shri Tomar also remarked that Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MoFPI) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan with the aim to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and promote formalization of the sector. The scheme to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rupees 10,000 crore. The scheme has a special focus on supporting Groups engaged in Agri-food processing such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.

He further added that CII being a premier industry association, should help in putting this sector on the growth trajectory. The minister also emphasized that the benefits of the government initiatives should reach to all farmers and the Ministry of Food Processing industries is working in a planned manner for these initiatives. He also requested CII to do a comparative study on available food and fruit resources in the country vis-s-vis with their processing enabling the Government of India to chart a strategy for bridging the gap.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Manoj Joshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India emphasized on the need of joint efforts by the Government and Industry in the area of fortification of processed food and meeting changing consumer preferences amongst others.

In his special address, Mr Ahmed EL Sheikh, President, PepsiCo India said that the food processing industry is an economic multiplier and PepsiCo is fully committed to be a contributor to the growth of Indian agriculture and food processing sector.

In his address, Mr Suresh Narayanan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries & CMD, Nestle India Ltd emphasized that we must revisit the nutrition and hygiene aspects in food categories in times when grater infusion of technology and interface between producers and consumers is proving to be a sustainable business imperative.

While setting the theme of the Summit, Mr Akshay Bector, Chairman CII Food Processing Summit 2021& CMD, Cremica Food Industries Ltd mentioned that it is now the need of the hour to work on opportunities in further value addition by emphasizing Value added food products and also looking in other sectors which have not yet been able to take advantage of the changes that have happened to date.

In his welcome address, Mr Mayank Singhal, Chairman, CII Regional Committee on Agriculture, Food Processing & Dairy & VC & MD, PI Industries Ltd said given the focus of Government of India on value addition, many people have already benefitted from government schemes, however, there remains huge potential to be leveraged to further enhance the output, in terms of quality & value.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Jai Agarwal, Co- Chairman, CII Regional Committee on Agriculture, Food Processing & Dairy & MD, CP Milk & Food Products Pvt Ltd highlighted that a major issue being faced in our country is about ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce.

Some of the other eminent speakers who addressed the delegates included Mr Jasmohan Singh, MD, Frick India Ltd; Mr Ramit Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, CII Regional Committee & Executive Chairman, Gourmet Investments Pvt Ltd; Mr Angshu Mallick, CEO & MD, Adani Wilmar Ltd; Mr Oliver Mirza, CEO & MD – Indian Subcontinent, Dr Oetker India; Mr Bhavdeep Sardana, Sr. VP & CEO, Sukhjit Group; Mr Ajith Dharan, Head of Business Consumer Foods – South Asia, Buhler (India) Pvt Ltd; Mr Ashwini Malhotra, MD, Weikfield Foods Pvt Ltd; Mr Naveen Mahlawat, Co-Founder, Republic of Chicken and many more.

The summit witnessed deliberations on Policy, Regulations & Guidelines in Food Processing Industry; Talk by Experts on Leading through a Crisis; CEOs Forum on Future of Indian Food Processing Industry; and Automation, Packaging & Logistics in Indian Food Sector. Over 300 delegates representing the agriculture and food processing sector from across the country participated in the deliberations.