Dec 19, 2018
India’s natural food processing and macro-economic advantage, coupled with other growth drivers such as urbanisation, a rapidly growing middle-class population and rising digital influences on consumers will trigger strong growth in the food processing and food retail segments.
With this growth trajectory Kerala’s agriculture sector is poised for a strong growth on the back of rising exports of spices and seafood, coupled with a new energy provided by start-ups in the sector.
Some of the major food processing clusters are rice processing in Perumbavoor, Idukki and Kollam; cashew processing in Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam ; seafood processing in Alappuzha, and spices processing in Ernakulam, Thiurvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kollam.
It is important to find ways to benefits of the growth in the industry can benefit farmers who are constantly witnessing a drop in commodity prices. A holistic effort focusing on branding the indigenous varieties of agricultural produce found in Kerala and deriving more value-added items should be a top priority.
The significance of the food industry is that it creates jobs, mobilizes resources from the rural sector, promotes agricultural production, adds value to farm produce, tackles rural-urban migration and promotes industrialization in an agricultural economy.
The rising exports of spices and seafood underlined Kerala’s strengths in the food sector. The agriculture and allied sectors contributed more than 10 per cent of Kerala’s gross state domestic product (GSDP).
The food sector is already attracting start-ups, and there are immense opportunities for enterprising start-ups to fill the gaps in the existing food sector value chain and thereby transform the food processing economy of Kerala and India, he said.
The food processing sector in the State is now taking the benefit of the infrastructure available and a series of processing clusters point to this trend.