Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Says Orissa to soon formulate Food Processing Policy

About 23,000 Agri and Food processing SMEs in the State of Orissa have so far generated over 1.2 lakh employment opportunities with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore, according to Orissa Industries, Steel & Mines Minister, Mr. Raghunath Mohanty.

Delivering his Keynote Address at ASSOCHAM-IPICOL organised “Agri and Food Processors Conclave” on Inaugural day of 6th Entrepreneurs Week 2010, the Minister further clarified that the State has over 43,000 SMEs in various segments and out of it, there are 23,000 agri and food processing SMEs currently operating. The Minister further added that the his government has given enough emphasis to the agri and food processing sector in policies such as IPR 2007, MSME 2009 and Rehabilitation & Resettlement (RR) Policy.

Earlier, while inaugurating the Conclave, Chief Minister of Orissa, Mr. Naveen Patnaik has announced that a draft State Food Processing Policy has been circulated among all stakeholders for their comments after which it would be finalised in a view to tap the agri and food processing sector potential.

Mr. Naveen Patnaik, however, said that despite the State has presence of 10 agro climate zones, it has yet to achieve significant growth in the agro industries and processed food sector. Keeping in view the conducive business environment and vast potential in agro and food processing industries, there is a need to build on Orissa’s competitiveness and identify critical success factors and issues, added the Chief Minister.

The Minister for Finance and Excise Orissa, Mr. Prafulla Chandra Ghandei in his address said that despite the State’s impressive growth in sectors like mining, industry, hospitality, communication and transport, it has yet to achieve a growth in agri and food processing sector. This sector is vital for the upliftment of the majority of population of the State who solely depend on their livelihood from agriculture or allied sectors, added the Minister.In her address, ASSOCHAM President, Dr. Swati Piramal said that agri and food processing sector of the State needs more investment in the technological upgrdation and research and development to cultivate vast potential.She also said that the share of India’s share in world food trade is a meagre 1.5% compared to US, EU and Asian countries.

Among other dignitaries address the Conclave comprise Chief Secretary Orissa, Mr. Tarun Kanti Mishra, Secretary Industries, Mr. Saurabh Garg, Member of Parliament, Mr. Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and Mr. Prasanna Patsani, Director Industry, Mr. Hemant Sharma, APEDA Chairman, Mr. Asit Kumar Tripathi, Director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Mr. Awadesh Kumar, CMD IPICOL, Mr. S C Patnaik and ASSOCHAM Secretary General, Mr. D S Rawat. The event was coordinated by Mr B.N.Palei,GM.

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