AMCHAM’s Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, in association with Invest India, organized a roundtable on issues faced by U.S. companies in the animal husbandry and food processing sector in India on July 14th. AMCHAM and Invest India, under the leadership of the Ministry of Food Processing and Industries & Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, designed this unique forum to conduct detailed conversations between industry leaders and the senior-most government officials to address challenges faced in these sectors and to promote ease of doing business in India. Mr. Varun Sood, Vice President, Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Food Processing, Invest India welcomed dignitaries and participants. Mr. Simon George, Chairman – Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, AMCHAM and President, Cargill India, spoke about the active role AMCHAM plays in strengthening the food processing and value addition sectors through meaningful initiatives and providing a conducive platform for dialogue. He also highlighted the critical role of the food processing sector and how value addition in this sector would be vital for the entire value chain.
Mr. Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Ministries of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Government of India, in his special address spoke about the great potential this sector has for industry and gave insights to its performance so far. Livestock sector’s CAGR is over 8% while manufacturing and services have a growth of over 6% and 7% respectively, growth in dairy is over 6% since 2014-15 and the average productivity increase in milk is almost 17%, which is one of the highest in the world. He also expressed the government’s support of up to 3% interest subvention for loans availed by domestic and international investors for setting up processing or value addition plants from scheduled banks. He spoke about the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme and how under that not only co-operatives but manufacturers and stakeholders are also getting incentivized. Mr. Chaturvedi also mentioned the PLI scheme of the government of India for the food processing sector and how it will particularly bolster India’s dairy sector.
Ms. Reema Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, in her special address spoke about the achievements of the food processing sector in terms of prolific growth, high profits and an increase in global market share. She mentioned some of the high potential sub sectors like the ready to eat segment, frozen foods, super foods, nutraceuticals, value added dairy products, animal feed, machinery, energy efficient technology, etc. She echoed Mr. Chaturvedi’s point that the PLI scheme is poised to be a game changer. She also expressed her gratitude to U.S. food companies in creating jobs, facilities and efficient output.
Ms. Varsha Joshi, Joint Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Ministries of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Government of India, gave a presentation on the opportunities in the AHD sector. The presentation covered FDI contribution of the dairy sector in the last financial year, how it’s a high priority sector, statistics and further growth potential in the dairy sector, overview of the animal feed sector, incentives for private investors, focus areas of AHDF, etc. Mr. Ronald Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy, in his special address highlighted how U.S. and India’s robust trade partnership can be further strengthened, particularly in the dairy and livestock sectors. Products from the U.S. can also help increase productivity gains given the objectives of Make In India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat Scheme.
It was followed by presentations from the U.S. Forage Export Council represented by Mr. John Szczepanski, Director, who highlighted the impact high-quality forage can make for dairy cattle. Mr. Amit Sachdev, Regional Consultant – South Asia, U.S. Grains Council, through the presentation exhibited the difference high-quality grain derivates can make in livestock, poultry and aquaculture feed and the U.S. Soybean Export Council represented by Mr. Jaison John, Team Lead India and Dr. Ratan Sharma, Technical Representative, focused on addressing shortages of protein for animal feed with high-quality U.S. soybean derivates and delivering high-quality food-grade soybeans to Indian processors and consumers. This was followed by a discussion on challenges faced by in the food processing and animal feed industry. AMCHAM members Cargill India and PepsiCo shared their points with the panel. Cargill was represented by Mr. Pankaj Mahajan, Director-Indian Subcontinent, Corporate Affairs and Mr. Shadab Alam, Country Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Lead. PepisCo was represented by Mr. Himanshu Priyadarshi, Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs.
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