The Centre plans to set up 30 food parks in various states with the aim of helping small and medium industries in the sector to grow, a senior official of the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) said.
The parks proposed to be set up by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries will help 20,000 small and medium industries engaged in the manufacture and processing of food products every year, IIP Director NC Saha said here.
Addressing a one-day workshop on packaging and processing of ethnic food here last evening, he said the proposed parks will help the country overcome the problems of inadequate storage facilities and damage suffered during transport due to improper packaging.
Saha said the size of the food processing industry was likely to grow from $200 billion at present to $310 billion by 2015. Though India was the leader in production of several food products, it accounted for only 1.5% of global trade.
He said the IIP, a national enterprise set up by the Indian packaging and allied industry and the Ministry of Commerce to improve the standards of packaging, proposed to establish two more centres at Ahemedabad and Guwahati in order to promote packaging technology.
Saha said the only way to control prices of food products was to process and preserve them without any wastage.
Scientist SK Vel, the principal of the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, said packaging prevented physical damage of food products and increased their shelf life.
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These would come up in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra