WITHIN THE FOOD PROCESSING SECTOR
Some of the key challenges in the food processing sector include: Lack of processing in the perishable segment: This arises due to a variety of reasons like lack of processing technology and facilities, unorganised nature of processing, lack of adequate infrastructure for storage, etc. All this results in a lot of wastage and loss of perishable agricultural commodities. Lack of adequate storage facilities along the value chain: Lack of proper storage facilities along the value chain results in problems of processing. Lack of processing technology: The lack of adequate processing technology inhibits value addition within the sector. Poor value chain linkages: A fragmented value chain results in suboptimal outcomes that inhibit the growth of the sector. Linking from farm to fork is critical for the benefits to flow to farmers. Lack of skilled manpower: Though a large number of people are employed along the various activities of the value chain, the fact remains that a large fraction of them are unskilled. There is scope for providing them with training for betterment within the sector. SME competitiveness: A crucial element and a major challenge is value capture by the SME segment, which remains largely unorganised. Value capture can happen when these players comply to international standards and look for growth opportunities after achieving scale in the domestic market. Lack of branding and packaging: Branding and packaging are of critical importance within the sector. SMES trying to compete with multinationals have to keep these two factors in mind, apart from local distribution and quality product offering.