The government will invite bids this month for setting up of a non-banking financial company (NBFC) with an initial corpus of Rs 20 billion to meet credit needs of the food processing sector, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Tuesday.
"The RFP (request for proposal) should be out hopefully this month. The NBFC will be in place by end of the year," the Food Processing Minister told reporters here on the sidelines of a report launch.
The report 'Fixing Asia's food system' is commissioned by Cargill India.
The initial corpus of the proposed NBFC would be Rs 20 billion. A small amount from the ministry will be put into it, she said, and hoped the corpus amount would increase manifold over the next few years.
Stating that many international big funds have shown interest, Badal said: "We will be able to make consortium of banks to come together to put funds for this financial institution, which will not only lend to food processing sector but will also work towards risk assessment, capacity building and cut food wastage."
As the demand for food is set to rise with increase in population, some funds may also be utilised for research and development, she added.
The minister emphasised the need to partner with private sector and set up a body to reduce post harvesting losses.
She further said western nations are facing food wastage on plate, while India has it in during harvesting, transportation and storage of food crops.
The Cargill report highlights Asia's existing food system and talks about critical issues that the region will face in the period to 2030 and how companies and policymakers should strategise for the future.
Nestle India Managing Director and Chairman Suresh Narayanan, Walmart India CEO and President Krish Iyer, FSSAI chief management services officer Madhavi Das, Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand and Cargill India Chairman Siraj Chaudhry were present at the launch.