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Call for Govt Funds for India's Processing Sector

24 July 2009

INDIA - Industry has called on the government for support to develop the meat, fish and poultry processing sectors.

The government should create a fund of 750 million rupees (INR) to modernise the meat, fish and poultry processing sector so that production of processed food items can increase, industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Assocham) told Food and Beverage News of India.

Poor infrastructural facilities such as erratic power supply, lack of cold chain and storage facilities were some of the problems faced in the transportation and marketing of processed products, the Chamber said.

It has demanded the creation of an INR 750 million corpus fund to infuse technologies and skills so that processing of meat and fish and poultry production can be increased to over 25 per cent in the next two years.

S Jindal, president of Assocham, said: "Of the total 7.25 million tonnes of fish production, over 50 per cent is exported to ASEAN region which is a good performance because in fishing sector, India has been doing reasonably well on export front even without developing higher fish processing technologies." The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organisation of 10 Southeast Asian countries.

The Chamber also estimates that India is processing only two to four per cent of meat, poultry and fish even though the domestic annual output has exceeded one lakh million tonnes. The processing of these food items was mainly concentrated in the unorganised sector. Due to the cumbersome licensing formalities and stringent rules and regulations, processing units exported only 50 per cent of the country's meat output, it said.

At present, there are about 40,000 food processing units in India of which 10,000 are engaged in meat, poultry and fish processing and the remaining 30,000 units exclusively process fruits and vegetables.

Further, Assocham has also urged the food processing ministry to give industry status to the food processing sector as India presents a huge opportunity for food sector because of its rising income levels, according to Food and Beverage News.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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