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The Food Processing Industry sector in India is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. The government has accorded it a high priority, with a number of fiscal reliefs and incentives, to encourage commercialisation and value addition to agricultural produce; for minimising pre/post harvest wastage, generating employment and export growth.

Important sub sectors in food processing industries are:- Fruit & Vegetable Processing, Fish-processing, Milk Processing, Meat & Poultry Processing, Packaged/Convenience Foods, Alcoholic beverages & Soft drinks and Grain Processing etc.

As a result of several policy initiatives undertaken since liberalisation in August 1991, the industry has witnessed fast growth in most of the segments. As per a recent study on the food processing sector, the turnover of the total food market is approximately Rs.250,000 crores (US $ 69.4 billion) out of which value-added food products comprise Rs.80,000 crores (US $ 22.2 billion)

Since liberalisation in Aug'91 and up-till Feb 2000 proposals for projects of over Rs.53,800 crores (US.13.4  billion) have been proposed in various segments of the food and agro-processing industry. Besides this, Govt. has also approved proposals for joint ventures, foreign collaboration, industrial licenses and 100%export oriented units envisaging an investment of Rs.19,100 crores (US $ 4.80 billion) during the same period. Out of this, foreign investment is over Rs. 9100 crores (US $ 18.2 billion).

Processed food exports were at over Rs.13,500 crores (US $ 3.2 billion ) in 1998-99. Out of these exports, rice accounted for 46%, whereas marine products accounted for over 34%.

Primary food processing is a major industry with lakhs of rice-mills/hullers, flour mills, pulse mills and oil-seed mills. There are several thousands of bakeries, traditional food units and fruit/veg./spice processing units in unorganised sector.

In the organised sector, there are over 820 flour mills, 418 fish processing units, 5198 fruit/veg processing units, 171 meat processing units.

India is the world's second largest producer of fruits & vegetables, but hardly 2% of the produce is processed. India is the land of spices producing all varieties worth over Rs. 3500 crores (US $ 900million) amounting to 25-30% of world production, which is processed for value-addition and export. It grows 22 million tonnes of oilseeds covering most of the varieties. Other important plantation products include tea, coffee, cocoa and cashew.

It has large marine product and processing potential with varied fish resources along the 8041 km. long coastline, 28000 km. of rivers and millions of hectares of reservoirs & brackish water. India's livestock population is largest in the world with 50% of world's buffaloes and 20% of cattles, but only about 1% of total meat production is converted to value added products.

India is the  largest milk producer in the world and about 15% of the total milk production is processed through the organised sector.

Size of the semi-processed and ready to eat packaged food industry is over Rs. 4000 crores (US $ 1 billion) and is growing at over 20%.

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it makes food easier to

it makes food easier to digest and it turns into sugar faster. this can be hard on the pancreas and lead to diabetes. it also accustoms the body to not having to digest 'hard to digest' food. it loses the ability.
Best Regards

Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.