Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The perennial issue of low trajectory growth of food processing sector in India has not gone beyond problem diagnosis with no worth while action coming through to face and over come the constraints aired from different forums. That same constraints identified more than 4 decades ago continue to be the subject matter of discussion to day speaks volume about the commitment of the governments at the State and Central levels. Here is the latest "revelation" from a premier industry body regarding what "ails" food industry in the country.

"However, the logistics cost was huge. It formed 13% of the GDP (gross domestic produce). The government should work on bringing down the logistics cost. Second problem for India was the fragmentation of land that prevented production of larger volumes. India needed to encourage corporate farming and contract farming as private participation could revolutionalise the agriculture sector. There was a huge escalation between producer to consumer price. If the farm gate price was 10, price to the consumer was 18, thus 80% increase in the price".

If date line is ignored, these "truths" would be same as those uttered years ago by the industry at that time. The only difference is that speakers are different to day and exposure to media is much more extensive. Granted India is a huge country and it takes time for any thing positive to happen under the over bearing bureaucratic environment, the concern amongst the present generation food professionals is whether they would be able to see any perceptible but positive development in this sector during their life time. Deep pessimism may not be out of place looking at the recent budget, which has nothing for the food industry except some pious declarations!.

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