Gujarat, tagged as the most ‘investor friendly’ state of India, tops in food processing (combining dairy, agro, poultry and fisheries) with 9.6% growth rate. Committed to offer financial support and incentives for food processing projects as part of infrastructure development or market research, the State is also home to fisheries, poultry, and agro products. Other positive aspects are skilled labour; enterprising farmers and most importantly strong networking the State has achieved across the country and abroad. ‘Cleanliness & hygiene’ is one of the most crucial aspects in food processing industry; Does Gujarat have the latest equipment, tools & accessories to attain quality standards? Are the food processing companies adopting/investing in cleaning? Suprita Anupam finds out…
The worth of packaged Indian food is expected to touch US$30bn by 2015. Gujarat has currently over 16,400 small enterprises in food processing, beverage and tobacco processing and about 30,000 food processing units which employ over a million people in the State. Amul, the largest food processing brand in the world, finds prominent place in the State.
Keen to promote the industry further, Gujarat has established Food/Agro-Export Zones and has also initiated a provision for providing support to private sector industries, apex cooperative institutions and committees for setting up of Centres of Excellence/ Specific Crop Development Institutes.
“Animal husbandry and dairy have played a vital role in the rural economy of Gujarat. Dairy farming, primarily concerned with milk production, functions on a cooperative basis and has more than a million members. Gujarat is the largest producer of milk in India. Amul milk co-operative federation products are well known all over India and is Asia’s biggest dairy. Among livestock raised are buffalo and other cattle, sheep, and goats,” observes ET.
Policy Initiatives and Financial Assistance
Amending the old APMC Act of 1963 in 2007, Gujarat’s new revised policy has included provisions for setting up private mandis, direct procurement/sale from farmers’ fields, contract farming, setting up and promoting agricultural marketing extension units, a big relief to improve and ensure the availability of raw materials to entire food processing industry. Food processing industries have been put in the list of priority sectors for bank lending – implying easier availability of credit.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries’ new policy inter-alia has the brought broad Schemes – Scheme of Interest Subsidy (ceiling of
र25.00 lakh for MSME units and र50.00 lakh for large units), Scheme for Assistance in Core Infrastructure (for industrial parks with a ceiling of र20.00 crore), Scheme for Assistance in Setting up Common Facilities (grant ceiling of र10.00 crore), Scheme for Assistance in setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plant and Scheme for setting up Centre of Excellence.
- Gujarat enjoys leading position (1st rank to 4th rank) at all-India level in the productivity levels of major fruits and vegetables including onion, potato, banana, guava, tomato, lime, papaya, etc.
- Gujarat has the highest productivity in custard and guava production in India
- World’s largest producer of cumin
- Gujarat has 23 Itobacco processing with 1078 Breeding Centres in the state which are aimed at improving the breed of cattle and buffaloes
- Gujarat has 12 Intensive Poultry Development Projects (IPDP), five District poultry Extension Centres, and 85 Poultry Service Centres
- The production of milk in the State has increased to 269 lakh kilogram per day – making it the fourth largest producer in the country – ahead of Punjab.
The new Industrial Policy of the State aims at promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development. The economic growth and development which are envisaged for the State would also have a significant and important contribution to the agricultural sector in the State.
The focus shift is clear, “Instead of developing at the expense of agricultural growth, the development being planned foresees an overall growth on account of agriculture sector,” say ministry officials.
Under Gujarat manufacturing Industrial policy 2013, “the state provides financial assistance to attract the investment in Hi-Tech Agriculture, pre-farm gate value addition projects, food processing & infrastructure projects, research for varietal development and post-harvest management, quality certifications in entire value chain, setting up of food testing Laboratories, export of fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, live plants by air and sea route, participation in International Trade Fairs will be provided. With such an elaborate intervention being planned in the value chain of agro production and processing, the state government aims at providing a significant impetus to this sector and ensure a sustained growth. Also the output from this sector would be directed to further processing.”