The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi recently said that a new record has been created at the beginning of 2020 by transferring Rs 12,000 crore to the accounts of six lakh farmers across the country. “The government is giving encouragement to the food processing industry. We have allowed 100% FDI in the sector and also encouraged food value chain development through Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana,” said Modi at a convocation ceremony while emphasizing on using of latest technology like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Drone, among others, to address various problems related to agriculture and related activities.
Meanwhile, during a plenary session on value addition and storage management, experts said that due to increasing awareness among farmers to grow processed varieties of potatoes, India is gradually emerging as a leading exporter of frozen potato food items in Asia.
Haresh Karamchandani, CEO of Gujarat-based HyFun Foods during panel discussion said, “Till 2007, India was an importer of frozen potato food items including that of French fries, but systematic development of potato value chain right from farming to post-harvest handling, India became exporter in the segment by 2015 and exported around 5,000 MT. Since then, India’s export is continuously increasing and by the end of 2019, it had reached up to 30,000 MT.”
According to him, the exports would further increase due to lower transit time within Asia, lower capital employment by the customer, global quality standards and consistency in price.
Not only exports but domestic demand for frozen potato food items are also augmenting and reached around 75,000 MT.
Domestic demand would further increase due to urbanization, the addition of more nuclear families and working women and an increase in disposable income among families, he added.
ITC’s chief executive for Fresh F&V & Frozen business, Sachin Madan claimed that the market size of the potato and its value chain in India has exceeded `50,000 crores and still has the potential to go farther.