India's Agri-produce wastage hits $13 bn

INDIA - Wastage of agri-produce in the country is estimated at $13 billion, as processing accounts for a small proportion of production. In case of the country’s total fruit and vegetable production, only 2% is processed, 35% of milk, 21% in meat and 6% poultry products.
calendar icon 17 January 2007
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This is the situation when the country is the world’s highest producer of milk, at 90 million tonnes annually, the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, at 150 million tonnes annually, the third-largest producer of foodgrains and fish and has the largest livestock population.

Pointing to the challenges the food processing industry faces, Kaushal Sampat, chief operating officer (COO), Dun and Bradstreet India, said that these include the cultural issue of people preferring fresh over stored, the lack of a proper cold chain and the resultant wastage, the lack of quality checking and testing facilities and the presence of too many intermediaries.

“These intermediaries, who add cost but no value, will be driven out through the entry of contract farming. Urbanisation is changing food habits and people are moving to convenience foods while the emergence of organised retail will also have its effect,” Mr Sampat noted.

Source: The Economic Times

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