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India can cater to global processed food market: Minister


With increasing output from the agriculture sector leading to a rise in food processing activities, India will be able to cater to the international markets by exporting more processed foods, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday.

"Among other sectors, food could be a very important sector (for exports) because now when we have large quantity of agriculture and horticulture products coming in, we will have to process it," he said at the inauguration of the 11th edition of "Ficci Foodworld India 2018" with the theme "Capitalising Food Processing in the Digital Era".

"When we process it, we need not only cater to the domestic market but we can export it."

The minister said the food processing industry professionals should develop processed food items that appeal to the palate of the consumers in export markets.

"This segment needs to be exploited aggressively apart from exporting Indian food products for use by Indians overseas," he added.

Prabhu said the processed, ready-to-eat food produced under good regulation on safety and standards was a great opportunity for the manufacturing sector with the attendant benefit for downstream industries.

According to the minister, although technology will bring in lot of redundancy and many sectors will be impacted, food processing is a sector which will survive all such transitions.

"We are trying to identify sectors which would be growing at a much faster rate than before, and clearly in my opinion, food is one such sector," he said.

Emphasising on the need for exports of marine products, Prabhu said he had urged the Marine Products Export Development Authority to prepare a strategy for export of marine products from India.

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