Monday, August 2, 2010


From time to time mouth watering reports are made by consultants or organizations for the benefit of entrepreneurs who are interested in starting new industries but many such reports are based on inadequate and unreliable data base, Such report making becomes a money spinner because of the promise it offers to venture hungry entrepreneurs. It is rarely that these reports turn out to be useful in practice. There are a few organizations based in Delhi who "sell" project reports for setting up new industries though their credentials to prepare a realistic project reports are questionable. The latest report generated by the industry association ASSOCHAM may be different because it has no personal Axe to grind in attracting new competitors. Here is a take on the report.

"India will need approximately over US$30 Billion worth of investment to completely re-structure its processing-food industry to substantially lift up the share of processed food trade, which currently stands at 2.2 per cent in case of fruit and vegetables, 26 per cent fisheries, 6 per cent poultry, 20 per cent buffalo meat and 35 per cent milk by 2015, according to a study on 'Emerging Opportunities and Strategic Thrust Areas for Food Processing'.

The study brought out by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), also suggests that with projected investment, export of processed foods could increase by over 70 per cent in next 5 years to touch the targeted level of over $25 billion from the current level of approximately $15 billion. However, in spite of vast natural resources, import growth of food products in India is also expected to be strong over the forecast period to reach $13 billion. The ASSOCHAM, has projected that US$ 30 billion worth of investment can revolutionize Indian food processing sector and take up processing of food and vegetables to levels close to 10 per cent by 2015. In case of fisheries, it has possibilities to reach 40 per cent levels, close to 15 per cent about poultry and over 40 per cent in case of buffalo meat and nearly 60 per cent as regards to milk. Processing levels of fruit and vegetables in case of USA, Philippines and China currently exists at 65 per cent, 78 per cent and 23 per cent respectively".

This is not the first report by ASSOCHAM and this will not be the last also. But in stead of taking this report as absolute truth, new entrepreneurs must consider it as a macro level projection and do their own investigative work before deciding on the industry they want to start. Industry associations are supposed to advocate the cause of the business they are engaged in to prevent impractical and inappropriate developments harming their interest and be sensitive to the changing needs of the consumers they are supposed to serve.


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