President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said there was great potential for women to emerge as micro-entrepreneurs and raise overall female participation in the food sector.
“Women can set up small enterprises to make jams and pickles by processing fruits and vegetables gathered from farms in the village…It is also noteworthy that women are deeply involved in the food sector,” Kovind in his address at the concluding ceremony of World Food India-2017.
He said women could use Internet and modern communication technology to study prices and consumer trends in faraway markets.
“In this manner they can empower themselves, enhance the family income and contribute to nation building,” he said.
Kovind said the food industry could be a huge employer for India which has a large youth population and women from rural areas had a potential.
Food is culture but it is also commerce, he added.
Kovind said focused emphasis on modern food processing can change things.
“It gives the food sector the potential to become the intersection of so many of our flagship programmes – Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India, Digital India, and the resolve to double farm incomes,” he said.
Noting India’s food consumption was currently valued at $370 billion and it was expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025, he said: “There are opportunities across the entire food value chain in India – including post-harvest facilities, logistics, cold chains, and manufacturing. It is a sector with a large business appetite.”
With 41 mega food parks and cold chains being established across the country, Kovind said: “There is an increasing stress on food safety, accurate labelling, intellectual property issues and innovation in the food processing sector as well as on using technology as an enabler.”
The President said the World Food India helped showcase the vast and near limitless opportunities in the food industry and in food processing in India.
“It has been, if I may put it so, the Kumbh Mela of Indian food,” he said.