The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries has requested the state governments to bring changes in land use for considering the food processing units, particularly small and micro facilities, as part of agriculture, a top official said on Friday.
The ministry has also asked state governments to provide the seasonal industry status to food processing units so that they have flexibility to hire more labour and reduce operational costs, the official said.
"Apart from the incentives and subsidies that we are providing to the industry, the ministry has identified issues which affect the industry. For small and micro food processing units, the change of land use is required. We are requesting the state governments to look into that," the ministry's Secretary J.P. Meena said here.
"At least for these units, the requirement (of land use change) should be there and they should be considered as part of agriculture," Meena said.
"We are also asking the state governments to declare it as seasonal industry because foods and vegetables are seasonal and processing is also seasonal. Seasonal industry status will give the food processing units flexibility for hiring more labour and reducing the fixed costs," he said on the sidelines of a roadshow for World Food India 2017, which is to be held between November 3 and 5 in New Delhi.
Meena said most of the states have been responding to the ministry's proposal to improve rules, regulations and procedures.
The ministry will invite applications from entrepreneurs for various projects under the Kisan Sampada Yojana, he said.
Meena said the exports of processed foods have been growing at 18-20 per cent and exports stood at $31 billion in 2016-17.