It’s time India coverts challenge into opportunity to position itself as a trusted food supplier to the world, Shri Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chair, APEDA

No.PR-15

April 17, 2020

New Delhi

It's time India coverts challenge into opportunity to position itself as a trusted food supplier to the world, Shri Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chair, APEDA

Peoples top priority is food, there is a challenge which can be converted into an opportunity to position India as a trusted supplier of food to the world, said Mr. Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chair, APEDA, in an Interactive Video Conference on Managing Challenges and Export Opportunities of Agri and Processed Foods During and After COVID-19 Lockdown, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 17th April, 2020.

During the lockdown the industry faced 9 pronged difficulties which are the shortage of labor shortage, Laboratory testing, Phytosanitary certificates, packaging material, Curfew passes, Container shortage, Courier service, Freighter service, high freight, and Foreign country documentation issues. Over the past few weeks, we have tried our best to solve these issues for the smooth functioning of the industry, said Mr. Borthakur.

60-70% of the export activity is still on in export-oriented units in industrial estates and the rural areas and have been given an exception to operate. While many countries have decreased their import duty. There are Import queries from several new markets for certain products from S Korea, Japan, Australia, Philippines and in particular Singapore has raised the demand for Rice, from India, said Mr Borthakur.

Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said that standardization of food is becoming stringent and compliance which were earlier regarded as trade barriers are can now be used as facilitating parameters for entering new markets.

Demand will increase in domestic as well as international markets. We have set up our centers in 15 states to address the issues in a streamlined manner at the earliest, said Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director of APEDA.

While requesting the participants to check the APEDA website for constant updates, Dr Bajaj, asked PHD Chamber to submit a representation on the issues and challenges faced by the industry and assured that the same will be addressed effectively.

Mr. Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber, welcomed the speakers and deliberated on the issues and challenges faced by the food processing industry n general and more so in the present times of crises. He also suggested APEDA can engage with NMPB (National Medicinal Plants Board) and export medicinal plants and products at a premium which can be a good source for increasing farmers' income 4 to 5 times.

Mr Gaurav Sishodia, Head Food Processing, Invest India enlightened the participants by sharing valuable insights on the initiatives taken by them during this time and easing out the crisis in the food processing industry, primarily created by the spread of pandemic Covid -19.

The webinar was moderated by Dr Ranjeet Mehta, Principal Director - PHD Chamber and Ms Mallika Verma, Director & Head of Department Agriculture and Food Processing Committee - PHD Chamber which was attended by around 200 industry participants, senior PHD members and industry stalwarts from across India, among others.

Ends.

Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry