The international food fair IndusFood, organised by the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and the Ministry of Trade and Food of India, took place last January in Delhi. It was the second edition of Indusfood, and the number of visitors and country participants almost doubled. More than 500 food producers from India and some 800 buyers, representatives of wholesale, retail and catering companies and state organisations of 80 countries, participated at the fair. During B2B meetings, round tables and conferences, Indian food producers and buyers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the US and Russia discussed business opportunities and existing barriers concerning customs, duties, and documentation.
India is now one of the biggest players in the global food industry, and in the fruit and vegetables sector in particular. The country is the leading producer of bananas (27% of world production), mango (40%), and green peas; it is the second world producer of fruit and vegetables. The leading producers and exporters of all of these products were present at the fair.
“One of the focuses of the Indusfood project is organics,” said Mohit Singla, president of TPCI. India is the largest organic producer in the world. The government has removed all limitations concerning the export of organic products; small and medium producers will get support for finding new partner–importers, and Indusfood also provides such opportunities.
At present, 60% of the local population is engaged in the agricultural sector, but just 10% of food products are consumed or processed, due to the deplorable situation of cold storages and logistics.
“The Indian Government has set out an ambitious plan for solving these challenges,” declared Kharsimrat Kaur Badal, the Minister of the Food Industry at Indusfood’s opening ceremony. “We intend to connect our producers with foreign distributors to stimulate the construction of modern processing factories and to improve logistics inside the country and abroad.”
The Indian Government will buy food products directly from farmers, construct distribution centres and cold storages, and organise deliveries to foreign importers. During the last 10 years, the government has allocated around US$1 billion to domestic food manufacturers. Through its new policy, India aims to double its exports of agricultural products to US$60-70 billion by 2022. The domestic food retail sector is the 6th in the world in terms of value.