The government expects Indus Food — an international food and beverage trade show —starting Thursday to generate $1.5-$2 billion worth of business, help in doubling farmers income by 2022 and generating captive markets for Indian food exports.
More than 400 overseas buyers from 45 nations are expected to attend the show in Greater Noida where Indian businesses would have the opportunity of canvassing their products to an international audience. The interest areas range from processed foods and seafood to commodities like spices. Also, government bodies and representatives from 30 nations, including Vietnam, Iran, Oman, Bahrain, Russia, UAE, Philippines are expected to come with roughly 9,000 business meeting planned.
"We have till now focused on exploring markets for exports overseas by taking our companies to foreign nations. While that will continue, such events where buyers and sellers meet will help in generating interest in India's food sector and creating demand for our exports," Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry in association with the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) is organising the two-day event, which is being held for the first time. Keeping in mind greater exposure for Indias food and farm sector, the government plans to make this into an annual affair.
"Major retail chains from the Gulf and Russia are looking to partner with Indian food processing companies as well as producers in order to source merchandise for their home markets." Santosh Kumar Sarangi, joint secretary in the commerce department said. These companies will also look at investing in greenfield projects, he added.
The ministry has also waived off the argument that the event will be a repeat of the World Food India that was held by the Food Processing Ministry in November. The event was solely focused on promoting investment in India's food processing sector while Indus Foods is more of a buyer-seller meet." Sarangi said.
Prabhu added the event was ultimately aimed at the government's plan of doubling farmers' income.by 2022. "The whole idea of doubling farmers' incomes is based on finding overseas markets for domestic farm bodies because by definition when farm production goes up in the country, prices fall," he said.
Invest India, as well as various state governments, are expected to showcase presentations on the opportunities available for investing in the food sector, including those in warehousing, cold chain management and processing.
According to government estimates, India currently stands at sixth place in the global food and grocery market, but its share in food items exports is just 12% which the government hopes to boost up to 20%. Exports of some items have seen sharp rises over the past five years such as prawns - registering a rise of 17% between 2012-17 - while grapes and turmeric exports have grown by 12%.
To give a boost to the food processing industry, the ministry is also formulating an aggressive agriculture export policy separately. Prabhu confirmed that a draft version would be ready for circulation to industry stakeholders by early March.