Mumbai: The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest, and this shows the huge potential the food industry has in India. This will further grow in times to come.
In order to highlight the opportunities and issues in the food processing sector, Free Press Journal (FPJ) and Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) – with Moneycontrol as the digital partner — are organising a panel titled ‘Food Processing: The New Goldmine in India.’ It is being supported by Alfa Laval. The panelists for the discussion are Dilip Rath, chairman, National Dairy Development Board; Neelkanth Mishra, MD and India Equity Strategist, Credit Suisse; and Anantha Padmanabhan MD, Alfa Laval India and Cluster President, India – Middle East – Africa. The session will be moderated by FPJ’s consulting editor R N Bhaskar.
It is estimated that Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, as per IBEF reports. There has been increasing number of activity in the food processing space with names like Amazon, Big Basket and so on, raising investment to strengthen their food business in India. Anantha Padmanabhan said, “Food processing is not just an opportunity, but a necessity for sustainable development. The new generation of urbanised population will look for high quality and healthy food and it is necessary that these market needs are met by local production adding value to the farmers.”
There will be a special focus on diary sector, Dilip Rath will present that side of the industry. This is because milk and milk foods account for the biggest share of the processed foods industry in India. Rath said, “Focus will be on the current and future status of the dairy sector in terms of production and share of organised sector in handling the milk produced, with particular emphasis on the dairy cooperatives.” He also plans to highlight the biggest challenge of the diary sector that is to ensure that the initiatives and investments translate to increase in income of the farmer. “The other challenge is to ensure that producer institutions keep pace with the growth in the dairy sector,” he added. Incidentally, NDDB is currently implementing National Dairy Plan (NDP) Phase I, which is aimed at increasing milk production through increased productivity to meet the rising demand and creating market access for milk producers through expansion of the milk procurement network.
Neelkanth Mishra is expected to talk about what this sector means for investments and financing.