MOFPI

Global, desi food companies to invest Rs 68,000 crore: Govt

NEW DELHI: Global and Indian food companies, including Hershey, ITC, PepsiCo, Patanjali, Coca-Cola and Britannia, have pledged to invest around Rs 68,000 crore in India's food and agriculture sector, the government said on the inaugural day of the World Food India event being held in the Capital on Friday.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged more players from the private sector to invest in areas such as contract farming, raw material sourcing and agri linkages, the ministry of food processing industries said 13 MoUs were signed.
"We have already signed MoUs worth Rs 68,000 crore on the first day of World Food India and more investment is set to come over the next few days," pointed out Union minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Domestic firms ITC and Patanjali inked MoUs to invest Rs 10,000 crore each. While PepsiCo said it will invest around Rs 13,000 crore for setting up food and beverage plants, rival Coca-Cola said it will bring in around Rs 11,000 crore for juice bottling infrastructure and fruit processing plants and equipment.
However, some of the investments are part of the companies' previously announced investment commitments.
Similarly, Amazon, UAE's Sharaf Group and Yes Bank are also among major investors, the statement from the ministry said. Britannia said it will invest Rs 1,500 crore over the next three years to expand its manufacturing facilities.
"These investments will help us realise the goal of doubling farmers' income as well as generating massive employment in the food processing sector," the minister said.
Nestle's chairman Paul Bulcke, who was among some of the senior business leaders present at the event, said top priority should be given to investment in building agricultural capacity amid challenges of scarce natural resources, rising population and growing food demand.
Sanjiv Puri, ITC's chief executive officer and executive director, said, "With a population of 1.3 billion, India's consumption market is projected to triple to $4 trillion by 2025 with the bulk of expenditure going into food products."

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