Question: Elaborate the actions taken by the government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector.
Answer: The food processing sector is one of the major contributor to growth of economy in India. They not only support growth of agriculture but also reduces stress on rural economy. The government has taken various policy measures to tackle challenges in this sector.
The actions taken by government to handle challenges in food processing sector
The major impediment in this sector is transportation of raw materials as well as finished goods from the industries to other regions. To enable faster movement of perishable goods, fast movement corridors have been created in form of expressways, freight ways and inland navigation.
Ex: Eastern and western freight corridor.
- Farmer and industry collaboration
Government is facilitating better collaboration between processors and raw material growers. This has allowed farmers to get better and fixed income for their produce. The rights of the farmers have also been protected.
Ex: Pepsico and potato growers issue.
- Attractive tax structure and land rates
Government has been trying to attract major industries by making their establishment easy. This is done through reduced land prices, cheaper electricity and water, easy pollution and environmental clearance, tax benefits etc.
Ex: Establishment of food parks.
- Storage facilities
The raw materials needed for food industries have to arrive from long distance. In order to keep the raw items fresh and consumable, government has created storage facilities, where producers can store their produce for a certain duration and sell them according to demand.
Ex: Cold storage facility for potatoes under TOP scheme.
The actions taken by government are satisfactory in their aim but they have failed to revolutionize food processing sector. A policy which is sepcifically directed to particular type of raw material is necessary, like dairy processing or fruit pulp processing.
Thus, considering India’s vast agricultural sector, there is ample amount of scope for growth of processing. A specific direction and aim must be created that guides our food economy towards that particular goal.