Anand Sharma, the union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles inaugurated the 27th edition of AAHAR, here . Speaking on the occasion Shri Sharma said, “India’s food market is estimated at over US $ 182 billion, accounting for about two third of the total retail market. The per capita packaged snack food consumption may be low in India presently but is growing, hence there is a huge market waiting to be tapped. I am sure that AHHAR will be the driving engine of economic growth.” We are emerging as a major exporter of food grains. We do hope that by 2014 India’s agri/food export will reach 40 billion US $, the Minister added. He informed the gathering that, Basmati Rice is the single largest export product in our agri-export basket and it has an acknowledged brand value in the world.

In his address Shri Sharma informed that, AAHAR offers two independent platforms — Food India and Hospitality India. Being the biggest food industry exposition in the South-Asian region, AAHAR now has also emerged as an important destination on the itinerary of businesspersons and trade visitors of this sector. Apart from sourcing opportunities for a variety of quality merchandise, equipment and machinery at competitive prices, the AAHAR 2012 would also present a forum for exploring joint ventures, technology transfers and collaborations.

During his speech Minister remarked that, “We have the second largest area of arable land in the world and today India is the world’s second largest producer of food next to only China, ranks 1st in production of milk, accounting for over 15% of global milk production, third in food grains production at 235 million tonnes and fisheries at 7 million tonnes. This is a dramatic transformation in our agrarian economy from being net food importer, has turned to a food surplus economy, Shri Sharma congratulated the Indian agricultural scientist for this remarkable transformation.

Expressing the concerns Minister said, “We are the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world with an annual production of 240 million tonnes, yet the post-harvest losses are unacceptably high, hovering in the range of 35-40%. There are huge weaknesses in the entire food value chain infrastructure in absence of adequate cold chain facilities, storages and transportation facilities. Filling the infrastructure gap requires massive private sector investments. The Government has consciously taken a number of incremental liberalization measures in the FDI regime. Foreign investment is the backward infrastructure is allowed up to 100% up to the Cash and Carry level. We would welcome foreign investors to partner with us in bringing food processing technologies which will not only save the losses, but also given consumers a wider choice. The FDI Policy in Multi Brand Retail will see a calibrated liberalisation in the coming months.”

Smt. Rita Menon, CMD ITPO while addressing the gathering said, “AHHAR has emerged as India’s premier annual International Exposition on Food, Food Processing, Hotel and Restaurant Equipment and Supplies. It is heartening that over 550 exhibitors from various foreign counties, including; Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, U.A.E., U.S.A. and Vietnam are showcasing their products. I wish them a successful participation in the show. Mr. Rakesh Kacker, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries Mr. Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Executive Director, ITPO were also present at the inauguration.


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