Farmers central to plan for food processing, says PM Modi

Highlights the 30-rank jump in World Bank's ease of business study.

New Delhi: Hailing the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called them central to the government’s efforts in the field of food processing. Mr Modi, in his speech at the World Food India 2017, said that food processing is a way of life.

“It (food processing) has been practiced for ages. Simple, home-based techniques, such as fermentation, have resulted in the creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys and murabbas that excite both the elite and the masses across the world,” he said.

Mr Modi also talked about India’s improved ranking on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index.

“Starting a new business in India is now easier than ever before. Procedures for obtaining clearances from various agencies have been simplified. Archaic laws have been repealed, and the burden of compliances has been reduced.”

India, Mr Modi said, topped the greenfield investment ranking in 2016. It is rapidly progressing in the ‘Global Innovation Index’, ‘Global Logistics Index’ and ‘Global Competitiveness Index’.

He further said that the private sector participation has gone up in many segments of value chain, but more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri linkages.

Meanwhile the government refuted reports of ‘khichdi’ being declared as the national dish of India. Mr Kaur described reports on the ubiquitous ‘khichdi’ being given the national honour as ‘fictitious’.

“Enough Khichdi cooked up on a fictitious ‘National Dish’. It has only been put for a record entry in World Food India, and will proudly showcase India’s culinary diversity. Looks like today has been a slow news day :),” she had tweeted.

Khichdi will be promoted as ‘Brand India food’ at the event. According to unconfirmed reports, chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be attempting to create a record by cooking 800 kgs of khichdi on November 4 at the India Gate Lawns.

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