Food processing sector forms a critical link between farmers & industry

Experts deliberated on the various aspects of Food Processing Industry and Agriculture during COVID-19 at a webinar organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and industry. The topic was 'Mitigating Risks In #Food Processing- Role of Insurance and Quality Inspection in Food Processing Industry & Food Imports & Exports'

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New Delhi: During COVID-19, the food sector was not a hard affecting sector. We were all comfortable during this pandemic as we have the base but, we need to focus on our food processing sector as part of Self-Reliant India, set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director, APEDA in the webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on ‘Mitigating Risks In Food Processing- Role of Insurance and Quality Inspection in Food Processing Industry & Food Imports & Exports’.
Dr Tarun Bajaj mentioned that the food processing sector is an important segment that forms a link between the farmers and industry. It takes care of two important pillars of our economy i.e. agriculture and industry, thus looking after the consumers. It is called the sunrise industry as well. Generally, insurance comes in machinery, employees but in food processing, there is special insurance which is equally important. Insurance is an important tool to mitigate the risk and losses in the sector.
We have a huge production base but still, the processing is much lower as compared to other countries. Our processing is focused on primary processing. In the advanced stage, we have to cover many sectors and, we are aiming for that. The government and other departments are working towards strengthening this sector for export purposes and development of the country.
Talking about quality inspection, he mentioned inspection is required in food safety management systems depending on the need and requirement of the procurement, production, and storage and reaching the consumer. Quality inspections are important as they help in reducing the loss, building the brand, getting consumer confidence, and earning profit in the long run.
Mr. Surinder Kumar Kalra, Managing Director, MASTERCUBE IoT LLP talked about Block Chain in Food Processing for mitigating risk mentioned that BlockChain is the next turn in the food processing industry and agriculture sector. He explained the scenario of blockchain in the world and its future growth in India and the globe. He talked about Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, and other technologies that can reduce the number of tasks, improve productivity, and help in the development of the food processing sector.
Mr. S. K. Sethi, Founder & CEO, Insurance Foundation of India while moderating the webinar talked about the risk faced by the food processing industry, food importers, and exporters that include competition, technology change, and cheap imports. He deliberated about the risk that business men faced that is a calamity, lack of human resources, trade tariffs, cyber-attacks, and many more.
Dr. Ram Mohan M.K, Joint Director (QC), MPEDA while giving an insightful presentation on Quality Assurance in Marine Products Exports mentioned about the working of MPEDA and the ways it supports the food processing sector. He talked about the projects, societies, programs, and initiatives taken by the company to promote Indian Food Processing.
Mr. Thondup Tschering, Expert on Marine Cargo Insurance while deliberating about the Need of Marine Insurance for Food Imports & Exports mentioning about the under item considerations makes while deciding PM rates condition for marine cargo politics, execution in marine cargo insurance, special clauses and add on covers and discussed few case studies.
Dr. Anupam Suri, Consultant, Formerly Prof., Amity University/ National Insurance gave his views on the Insurance of Food Processing Industry highlighted that India’s food chain production is going to develop in the next decade looking at the development in the technology, skills, specialty processing, etc. He discussed the risks and challenges faced by each vertical of the food processing sector and insurance available for the food processing sector.
Mr. Amit Lohani, Founder Director, Forum of Indian Food Importers talked about insuring food imports through insurance and mitigating risks through inspections. He talked about the working and projects initiated by the Forum of Indian Food Importers. He discussed the challenges faced by the industry that included the exports, usage of pesticides, and rejections of imports. We need to work with agencies of the world so that exporters and improves work in hand and hand. We need to ensure food safety standards.
Mr. Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry mentioned that the food processing industry is one of the most pivotal industries of India. India is the largest producer of agricultural products in the world. Despite being of the major food producer it faces constraints in terms of lack of quality control, inefficient supply chain, inadequate storage facilities, high loss of inventory, packaging cost, and many more. There is a need for practicing good agriculture practices and minimize the use of harmful chemicals in the field to be able to adhere to international food safety requirements.
The webinar was moderated by Ms. Mallika Verma, Director (Agribusiness and Consumer Affairs), PHD Chamber, and received extensive participation of more than 85 industry stalwarts’ pan-India. The webinar was supported by RIA Insurance Brokers, Mastercube IoT, Insurance Foundation of India, and Indigram LABS.