13 firms to in­vest Rs68,000 cr in food pro­cess­ing: govt



In­dian gov­ern­ment has re­ceived com­mit­ments from 13 global and do­mes­tic com­pa­nies to in­vest a cu­mu­la­tive Rs68,000 crore in food pro­cess­ing over the next few years. The min­istry of food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries signed in-prin­ci­ple agree­ments with the 13 com­pa­nies at the World Food In­dia 2017 event in New Delhi.

Pep­sico Inc. com­mit­ted an in­vest­ment of Rs13,340 crore for setting up bev­er­age and food man­u­fac­tur­ing units over the next five years. Ri­val Coca-cola Co. said it will in­vest Rs11,000 crore in the sup­ply chain as part of its plan to in­crease use of In­dian fruits in its bev­er­ages.

ITC Ltd, the Kolkata-based maker of cig­a­rettes and pack­aged con­sumer goods, said it will in­vest Rs10,000 crore in food pro­cess­ing over the next five to seven years. Yoga gu­ru­turned busi­ness­man Baba Ramdev’s Patan­jali Ayurved Ltd, which has chal­lenged es­tab­lished pack­aged goods com­pa­nies in the past cou­ple of years, also signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing that pro­posed in­vest­ment of Rs10,000 crore to set up food pro­cess­ing units across the coun­try.

“Food pro­cess­ing is a pri­or­ity sec­tor un­der the Make in In­dia pro­gramme,” Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of World Food In­dia 2017.

Steps such as al­low­ing 100% for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in food re­tail, a sin­gle-win­dow fa­cil­i­ta­tion cell for for­eign in­vestors and at­trac­tive in­cen­tives from cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments have made In­dia a pre­ferred in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion, Modi said.

“In­creas­ing ur­ban­iza­tion, and a grow­ing mid­dle class are re­sult­ing in an ever-grow­ing de­mand for whole­some, pro­cessed food,” Modi said, cit­ing as an ex­am­ple the fact that over 1 mil­lion pas­sen­gers have a meal on a train in In­dia ev­ery­day and each is a po­ten­tial cus- tomer of the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try.

Farm­ers, Modi said, are cen­tral to In­dia’s ef­forts in food pro­cess­ing. “We have a stated tar­get of dou­bling farm in­comes within five years... we launched a na­tional level pro­gramme, the Prad­han Mantri Kisan Sam­pada Yo­jana, to cre­ate world-class food pro­cess­ing in­fra­struc­ture.”

He added that this is ex­pected to lever­age in­vest­ment of $5 bil­lion, ben­e­fit two mil­lion farm­ers and gen­er­ate more than half a mil­lion jobs over the next three years.

Most of the in­vest­ments pro­posed by the com­pa­nies named above are not new. Most of these com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Pep­sico, Co­caCola, ITC, Patan­jali, Ama­zon and Metro Cash and Carry, had ear­lier an­nounced their in­vest­ment plans in In­dia un­til 2020, and the in­vest­ment fig­ures pro­posed on Fri­day are part of those pre­vi­ously de­clared plans.

Other pro­pos­als in­clude Rs5,000 crore of in­vest­ments by Saraf Group in farm pro­duce and pro­cess­ing, Rs4,000 crore by Yes Bank Ltd for fi­nanc­ing food pro­cess­ing projects across the back-end in­fra­struc­ture and Rs3,450 by Us-based on­line re­tailer Ama­zon.com Inc., which will in­vest in food re­tail, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the min­istry of food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries.

Hy­der­abad-based Janani Food Pvt. Ltd (Rs2,000 crore), Ger­man re­tailer Metro Cash and Carry (Rs1,690 crore), Cargill Inc. (Rs1,500 crore), bis­cuit maker Bri­tan­nia In­dus­tries Ltd (Rs1,500 crore) and Us-based choco­late maker The Her­shey Co. are among the other prom­i­nent in­vestors.

“Metro is con­vinced of In­dia’s po­ten­tial and strongly com­mit­ted to ex­pan­sion in your coun­try. We pre­pare with in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions on var­i­ous lev­els from sup­port­ing farm­ers as key fac­tors in sup­ply chain to em­pow­er­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of tra­di­tional ki­rana stores while re­tail mon­e­ti­za­tion for siz­ing these op­por­tu­ni­ties and play­ing our role in the trans­for­ma­tion of In­dia’s food mar­ket,” said Pi­eter Boone, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Metro AG and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Metro Cash and Carry. sounak.m@livemint.com Gireesh Chan­dra Prasad, Harveen Ah­luwalia and Saumya Te­wari con­trib­uted to this story.


Food fest: PM Naren­dra Modi, food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries min­is­ter Har­sim­rat Kaur Badal and min­is­ter of state Sad­hvi Ni­ran­jan Jy­oti with busi­ness lead­ers at World Food In­dia 2017.

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