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Day 18 – Q 2. The food processing industry has immense potential to generate employment and be a driver of regional growth. Comment. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • February 17, 2022
  • 0
GS 3, Indian Economy, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. The food processing industry has immense potential to generate employment and be a driver of regional growth. Comment. (10 Marks)

खाद्य प्रसंस्करण उद्योग में रोजगार पैदा करने और क्षेत्रीय विकास का चालक बनने की अपार संभावनाएं हैं। टिप्पणी करें।

Approach

Students are expected to write about the FPI. And then comment the employment potential in the FPI also how it will help regional growth. 

Introduction

Food Processing includes process under which any raw product of agriculture, dairy, animal husbandry, meat, poultry or fishing is transformed through a process (involving employees, power, machines or money) in such a way that its original physical properties undergo a change and the transformed product has commercial value and is suitable for human and animal consumption.

Body

  • India’s food processing sector continues to grow in response to changing demographics:
  • Over 16 % of the total workforce in the organised sector and 32 % in the unorganised manufacturing sector are employed in the food processing industries. The industry employs nearly 15 million people directly and 37 million indirectly.
  • India is one of the top rankers in the production of bananas, guavas, ginger, papaya etc although processing levels in the country remain limited, which indicates an extensive opportunity in the food processing sector.
  • By 2024, food processing sector is expected to employ 9 million people in India and expected to generate about 8,000 direct and 80,000 indirect jobs as per ASSOCHAM. 
  • Farm related employment in agricultural sector (Allied activities like dairying), self-employment opportunities particularly to women, development and management of infrastructural facilities like storage and processing centres, transportation network, research and innovation to add value to the product and others.
  • Government of India has come out with SAMPADA scheme to give boost to Food Processing Industry in the country. Thus the policymakers have identified food processing as a key sector in encouraging labour movement from agriculture to manufacturing. 
  • Women can be given training in the area of processing and can go for value addition through mango pulp processing, guava products processing such as guava leather, guava nectar and various carbonated and fresh fruits beverages.
  • Food processing will require different types of inputs thus creating an incentive for the farmer to grow and diversify crops.
  • It is an important source of foreign exchange. For e.g. Indian Basmati rice is in great demand in Middle Eastern countries. 
  • Food Processing being a labour intensive industry will provide localized employment opportunities and thus will reduce the push factor in source regions of migration. 
  • Processing increases the shelf life of the food thus keeping supplies in tune with the demand thereby controlling food-inflation. For e.g. Frozen Safal peas are available throughout the year.

Conclusion

Food processing has numerous advantages which are specific to Indian context. It has capacity to lift millions out of poverty and malnutrition with employment opportunities. Government should develop industry in a way keeping in mind the interests of small scale industry along with attracting big ticket domestic and foreign investments.

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