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Empowering Indian agriculture: The impact of mega food parks

Within India’s agriculture sector, the food processing industry is seen as the engine of growth essential to the sector’s expansion. The food processing sector must develop at double-digit rates for the agriculture sector to exceed the 4 per cent growth criterion and meet the growing food demands of the nation’s expanding population.

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India’s contribution to the global food trade is currently less than 3 per cent, despite predictions that it could double in the next ten years. An estimated 35 per cent of agricultural produce or $10 billion, has been wasted and lost in value as a result of inadequate processing facilities. The introduction of the mega food parks scheme aims to address these issues by offering cutting-edge facilities for food processing from the farm to the market.

Contribution to the transformation of Indian agriculture

Over the next five to seven years, the impact of mega food parks on the agribusiness industry, is poised to increase significantly. The state-of-the-art processing infrastructure established at mega food parks is significantly amplifying the exports of processed foods, with exports representing a pivotal market for such products. Several mega food parks have assisted farmers to experiment and diversify their agricultural practices. Establishing these food parks in hilly, tribal and challenging terrains has not integrated farmers from these regions into mainstream agriculture, contributing to the overall economic development of these areas.

All operational food parks are contributing in a big way to reducing wastage of agriculture and horticulture produced through more than 2.5 lakh tonnes capacity of modern cold and ambient warehousing that has been created in these projects.

Elevating farmer incomes

Clear instances of their transformative influence include Patanjali’s journey, initiated by its mega food park in Haridwar, which propelled the company into an FMCG powerhouse. With food product revenues approaching $1 billion, Patanjali sources produce directly and indirectly from over 10 lakh farmers, promoting local entrepreneurship and elevating farmer incomes by commercialising seemingly niche products like buransh juice. Likewise, the Gujarat Agro Infrastructure mega food park is poised to attract a total investment of nearly ₹650 crore, significantly benefitting many farmers.

Similarly, the Himalayan Mega Food Park aids apple growers in Uttarakhand, with its apple juice concentrate facility, while the Cremica Food Park, transforms the prospects of tomato farmers in Himachal and neighbouring regions through a world-class pulping facility. These success stories, underscore the profound and expanding influence of Mega Food Parks in shaping the agribusiness landscape.

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Mega food parks are evolving into job hubs for prominent Indian and global food brands, facilitating the export of food products worldwide. In adapting to the post-Covid global landscape, where food supply chains are undergoing significant realignments, Mega Food Parks play a crucial role. Leveraging India’s inherent strengths and renewed government focus, these parks position India as a major global sourcing hub and a substantial consumption market. This transformation, facilitated by mega food parks through processing and value addition, not only unlocks the true potential of the agriculture sector, but, also creates substantial opportunities for Indian businesses and start-ups in the global market.

Bahuguna is Director – Farlense Group & Founder – Roots Foundation and Doshi – Managing Director, Gujarat Agro Infrastructure Mega Food Park


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