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Only 2% of food in India is processed: Minister

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Kolkata: Only two per cent of food produced in India is processed, with wastage amounting to Rs 52,000 crore annually, Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said today.

“Only 2 per cent of the food is processed in India, with food wastage amounting to Rs 52,000 crore. There is a need for greater center-state coordination for taking forward the cause of food processing industry in the country,” the Minister of State for Food Processing Industries said at the 5th ‘Agroprotech 2015’ summit here.

Jyoti said that rising population posed a serious constraint for availability of land.

“The rising population pressure is becoming a serious constraint for availability of land all over the country. There is a need for realigning the policy focus for supporting small scale food processing units vis-a-vis mega food parks, which have substantial land requirement,” she said.

Jyoti added that the food processing sector has immense employment generating potential.

“It can also be a great promoter for gender equality, empowering the women in the country,” she said.

The minister said Mudra Bank is offering loans of Rs 5-10 lakh for skill development, which is an important component in the food processing sector.

Ten R&D initiatives have already been sanctioned for West Bengal, she added.