Organic food should be the prime focus: Teli


Rameswar Teli, Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India inaugurated 75th AIFPA Conference

At the 75th Annual Conference and National Seminar of the All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA) under the broad theme “Strategies for Boosting Growth of Food Processing in the Country” held in Bengaluru on 19th December, Rameswar Teli, Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India, emphasized on the status of organic food production and farming in India.

“There is not enough progress taking place in the food processing sector in India. A lot more needs to be done. Especially in terms of organic food production and organic farming. The use of chemical pesticides has polluted the entire chain. We need to boost organic farming and organic food production. There are a number of Mega Food Parks being established in different states but not much is being done on organic food production. In fact, the work is progressing very slowly at these food parks in general. But in this space, Karnataka is doing a commendable job with respect to the food park and cold chain storage establishments. Likewise, we are promoting industrialization in the north eastern region by providing 75 per cent subsidy. It would be wonderful if the next AIFPA conference can take place in Guwahati.”

Another agenda discussed at the conference was with regard to the GST levied on food items, and the need to reduce it. “Food products like instant mixes, ready to -eat food items, pickles and namkeens are placed under a 12% tax bracket which seems unfair. There has been a constant demand for lowering the rate in this segment to 5%. Lower rate of GST is prevailing in the market for the unbranded snacks category whereas the branded snacks are paying higher tax rates. The food processing industry is anyway struggling for sustenance and we need to deliberate on the challenges and issues”, highlighted Dr. S. Jindal, President, AIFPA & Managing Director, Excelsior Food & Chemical Industries.

Further on, discussions were carried out on various areas such as Rationalization Required in Regulatory System for Scientific Implementation without Damaging Growth, Creating Wealth from Solid Organic Waste with Specific Reference to Mango Processing Units, Concerns of Plastic Packaging and Possible Solutions, Collaborative Research between Industry and Academia, Research Innovations for Developing Cutting Edge Technologies for Food Processing, Anomalies in Licensing, Sampling, Testing and Adjudication, and Capital Mobilization & Central Govt. Schemes for the Food Processing Industry.

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