FTCCI pegs India’s Annual Food Wastage at shocking Rs. 60,000 Crores

FTCCI pegs India's Annual Food Wastage at shocking Rs. 60,000 Crores

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The Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) organised workshop on “Opportunities in Food Processing” at its Red Hills premises, Hyderabad. The event aimed at identifying and addressing the causes of India’s overwhelming food wastage and explore potential solutions within the food processing sector.

The Alarming Statistics of Food Wastage

India faces a huge challenge with food wastage. Each year, the country loses over Rs. 60,000 crore due to the wastage of 25-50% of its fruits and vegetables and 10-30% of its grains and oilseeds. This staggering loss translates into substantial economic waste and prompts for urgent need for effective interventions in food processing and preservation.

Key Figures and Presentations

FTCCI

The workshop was led by FTCCI President Meela Jayadev and Dr. S V N Vijayendra, Head & Senior Principal Scientist at the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).

Mrs. K. Sathiyamala delivered an extensive presentation on the scale of food wastage and innovative solutions to combat it. She emphasised that India’s annual consumption of value-added food exceeds Rs. 2.25 lakh crore, yet the country ironically loses a significant portion of its agricultural produce due to inadequate post-harvest processing.

Innovative Solutions in Food Processing

CFTRI has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies to reduce food wastage and enhance value addition in agricultural products. During the workshop, several innovative food products and technologies were showcased, including:

  • Super Cane Powder: A novel form of sugarcane processing.
  • Bottled Sugarcane Juice: With an extended shelf life of four months.
  • Animal Protein Wafers: Such as chicken, mutton, and fish wafers.
  • Egg Cubes: Similar to paneer cubes, offering a new way to consume eggs.
  • Millet-Based Products: Including noodles, vermicelli, and papad.
  • Traditional Food Automation: Machines for making raagi balls, dosa, idli, and chapathi.
  • Heat-and-Eat Foods: Ready-to-consume meals designed for convenience.

Role of CFTRI

CFTRI 1The workshop stressed the crucial role CFTRI plays in nurturing entrepreneurship and advancing food processing technologies. Dr. S V N Vijayendra highlighted the workshop’s aim to raise awareness of CFTRI’s services in food technology and preservation, encouraging prospective entrepreneurs to venture into the food processing sector.

Economic and Sectoral Impact

FTCCI President Meela Jayadev underscored the importance of the food processing sector in the economy, noting its role in adding value to agricultural products. The interdependence of agriculture and industry was highlighted, with value addition being identified as a key driver of economic growth. With India’s shift from a food-scarce to a food-surplus nation, opportunities within the food processing sector have expanded significantly. However, the lack of primary processing facilities for farmers results in an estimated 40% wastage of agricultural produce.

Call for Collaboration

The event concluded with a call for increased collaboration between industry and research institutions to unlock India’s food processing potential. This collaboration is deemed essential to drive economic growth and ensure that technological advancements in food processing are effectively utilised to reduce wastage and enhance productivity.

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