Food processing plays an important role in connecting farmers to the end consumers. Food processing contributes 13% to our annual GDP. An ever-growing demand for healthy packaged food products is proof that this sector can survive recessions and even pandemics. The Indian government is also supporting FPI in various ways.
Initiatives by the government to strengthen FPI in India
In accordance with the Prime Minister’s mission of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the government of India has approved the PLISPI scheme. This scheme will be implemented from 2021-22 to 2026-27, with an overall budget of ₹10,690 crores. PLISPI will provide incentives to the food processing companies for modernizing their infrastructure and for manufacturing high-potential products. Additionally, the scheme is open to food processing companies, co-operatives, and small and medium enterprises.
This scheme was launched in June 2020, in partnership with state governments under “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”. PMFME aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing micro food processing enterprises and help them in the process of formalizing the sector. The scheme was implemented in 2020-21 and is expected to go on till 2024-25, with a total budget of ₹10,000 crores. This program is expected to benefit 2,00,000 micro-enterprises. Currently, it is running in 35 states and Union Territories.
3. Supporting women entrepreneurs
Empowering women has always been the major aim of the Indian government. With this intent, the Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MOFPI) in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development organized an ‘Organic Food Festival’ in New Delhi, in February 2020. Over 180 women entrepreneurs participated in this event. Training programs like post-harvest management, packaging, and capacity building for women entrepreneurs were also organized. As of today, there is substantial women participation of 12.55% in the registered food processing units.
4. Strengthening Institutions and Academies
MOFPI currently has two premier institutes, namely IIFPT (Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology) and NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Management). After the parliament has passed a bill in 2021, these two educational institutes have become the Institutions of National Importance (INI). This step enables these institutions to provide world-class teaching by adopting innovative practices.
5. Promoting research and development (R&D)
The Ministry of Food Processing Industry provides continuous support for research and development in the field of food processing. As a result, 126 R&D projects are running currently. These projects focus on different areas like process development, packaging, use of technology, etc. As of today, 15 patents have been filed, 20 technologies have been commercialized, and 187 research findings have been published from MOFPI.
A well-developed food processing sector can help a country reduce food wastage, ensure better returns for farmers and address critical issues such as food inflation. The Indian government, being aware of the opportunities, is taking every possible step to drive the food processing industry.
Food processing industries largely depend on the agricultural markets or mandis for fulfilling their raw material requirements. These industries buy farmer’s produce in bulk from commission agents. Agriculture traders need an accounting system to help them track these sales on a daily basis. ChargeERP is one such online accounting system that is safe, easy to use, and can help commission agents keep track of all their buyers.
ChargeERP accounting software has been designed keeping in mind the daily interactions of commission agents in agricultural mandis. It is a cloud-based accounting software introduced with the core aim of reducing the agent’s workload. ChargeERP is the easiest online accounting software available in India. One of the many benefits of this platform is that it can be accessed from anywhere and from multiple devices. It provides data security with end-to-end encryption. Plus, it doesn’t require any kind of technical or accounting expertise.