India is the world’s second largest producer of food with the potential of being the biggest, backed by its food and agricultural sector. The food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. The total food production in India is likely to double in the next 10 years with the country’s domestic food market estimated to reach US$ 258 billion by 2015. Presently, the Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market.
Agriculture, which provides employment to 52 per cent of the population, is estimated to account for 14 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Further, technology and advancements in agricultural sciences and mechanization of farm operations has helped transform Indian agriculture and increased output considerably.
The Indian food industry which presently stands at close to US$ 135 billion with a CAGR of 10 per cent, is expected to touch US$ 200 billion by 2015. The food processing industry in India attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 5,793.95 million during the period April 2000–March 2014, according to data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has estimated that the food processing sector has the potential to attract US$ 33 billion of investment in 10 years and generate employment of around nine million persons.
Also, the opportunities in food and grocery retail in India are immense, given that it constitutes about 69 per cent of India’s total retail market, as per panel members at the seventh Food and Grocery Forum India.
The revival of the agriculture sector could open up opportunities for developing a number of other businesses in the food industry, such as integrated cold chains, mega food parks and process able varieties of crops, among many others. To promote food processing industries in India, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, has finalized the Vision 2015 document, which envisages tripling the size of the processed food sector by increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6 per cent to 20 per cent, value addition from 20 per cent to 35 per cent and share in global food trade from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent, by 2015.
( Source: Data Bank on Economic Parameters of the Food Processing Sector, Ministry of Food Processing Industries; Indian Brand Equity Foundation )