Industry, Labour and Employment

Food Processing Sector

Food processing sector is an important industry in India in terms of output and employment. India’s food processing sector covers fruit and vegetables, spices, meat and poultry, milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing and other products like confectionery, chocolates, cocoa products, soya-based products, mineral water and high protein foods.

India’s export of processed food was valued at 26,067.64 crores in 2015-16. The items exported from the country included dried and preserved vegetables (914.21 crores), other processed fruits and vegetables (2,900.33 crores), Pulses (1,603.22 crores), Groundnuts (4,046.05 crores), Guargum (3,233.87 crores), Jaggery and confectionary (1,289.26 crores), Cocoa Products (1,266.99 crores), Cereal Preparations (3,341.31 crores), Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (2,005.13 crores) and Miscellaneous Preparations (2,593.49 crores)

(Source: Agricultural andProcessed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India).

The Indian food processing industry has great potential for export growth, especially given India’s geographical position with its connectivity to Europe, Middle East, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. (Source: Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India). India is ranked 12th in the World in exports of food and food products in 2015.In India, the food sector has emerged as a high-growth and high-profit sector. The share of Food Processing Sector in GVA by India’s manufacturing sector was 8.6 per cent in 2014-15.

The number of registered food processing units in India has increased from 37,175 in 2012-13 to 37,445 in 2013-14. Food processing industry is one of the major employment intensive segments contributing 11.69 per cent of employment generated in all Registered Factory sector in 2013-14 (Source: Make in India).

Initiatives of Ministry of Food Processing Industries –MOFPI

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing various schemes for providing impetus to the development of food processing sector, viz. Infrastructure Development for Food Processing with the components of (i) Mega Food Park (ii) Cold Chain (iii) Setting-up/Modernization of Abattoirs, Scheme for Quality Assurance for setting up of Food Testing Laboratories and Technology Up gradation Scheme. Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government of India to improve the food-processing sector in India are as follows:

  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries announced a scheme for Human Resource Development (HRD) in the food processing sector. The HRD scheme is being implemented through State Governments under the National Mission on Food Processing. The scheme has the following four components:
    • Creation of infrastructure facilities for degree / diploma courses in food processing sector
    • Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP)
    • Food Processing Training Centres (FPTC)
    • Training at recognised institutions at State/National level
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 and the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 which prescribe the quality and safety standards, respectively for food products.
  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has taken some new initiatives to develop the food-processing sector, which will also help to enhance the income of farmers and export of agro and processed food among others.
  • The Government of India has approved the setting up of five Mega Food Parks in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Chattisgarh. The Government plans to set up 42 such mega food parks across the country in the next three to four years


State Food Processing Mission

National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) is a centrally sponsored scheme introduced by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India in the 12th Five Year Plan. The funding pattern is 75 per cent contribution from the Centre, and 25 per cent contribution from the State. The implementation of the scheme is entrusted to the States through the State Food Processing Missions. KINFRA is the Nodal Agency for State Food Processing Mission in Kerala. As on March 31, 2015 an amount of 967.18 lakhs have been received and an amount of 966.91 lakhs had been utilised for implementation of schemes under NMFP (Source: KINFRA).However, the Government has now de-linked National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) in the States from Central Government support with effect from April 1, 2015. The scheme is being supported by the Central Government in UTs.

Food processing sector in Kerala has always made significant contribution to food exports. Kerala has been a major exporter of spices, marine products, cashew, coffee, tea and pickles. Two thirds of Kerala’s export income comes from processed food. In Kerala, number of food processing units registered during 2015-16 is 879. Thiruvananthapuram district has registered 237 units, which is at the top position. The share of food processing units in the registered sector is only 19 per cent as evident from Figure 3.12.

Figure 3.12
Food Processing Units registered in 2015-16 


Source: Directorate of Industries and Commerce 

Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) has completed infrastructure development in 12 key industrial sectors with world-class infrastructure in 22 Industrial Parks, of which 8 are catering exclusively to the Small & Medium Enterprises sector. KINFRA has promoted investments in the State and created investment friendly climate within its Parks, contributing significantly to the State's economy. In this regard, 634 industrial units have been allotted land in the various Industrial Parks of KINFRA with a total committed investment of 1581 crore, providing direct employment to 35898 persons. KINFRA has also successfully implemented a Single Window Clearance system in all the Parks. The Single Window Clearances system operating in the Parks are helping the investors to establish their units without any hassles. However, the scheme has been discontinued from April 1, 2015.

KINFRA has set up exclusive Food Processing Parks to suit the specific needs of the food processing sector and they offer space for food processing units in their 22 Industrial parks, as the demand for space is high. KINFRA has obtained an in-principle approval from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India to set up KINFRA Mega Food Park at Palakkad. The proposed project will cover a region of 6 districts viz. Palakkad, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Wayanad as the raw material cluster for the Mega Food Park. The Ministry has accorded final approval for the project. There are 52 units under KINFRA Food parks at Malappuram, Mazhuvannur, Adoor, Aroor and Wayand. Out of these Mazhuvannur (Ernakulam) food processing park has 24 units with 631 workers and Kakkancherry (Malappuram) food processing park has 15 units with 510 workers. Total number of employment provided among these parks was 1525. Details of KINFRA food parks are given in Appendix 3.31.

Under the Mega Food Parks Scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, KSIDC initiated a proposal to establish a Mega Food Park with thrust on the processing and export of seafood items at Pallippuram, Alappuzha district. The main objective is to create an integrated modern infrastructure leading to an ideal ecosystem to facilitate diverse sea food processing operations and encourage entrepreneurship in food processing in the region. When fully functional, it will create employment for about 2000 persons inside the park and benefit about 50,000 fishermen directly and indirectly.

Quality Management in Food Processing Industries

National Centre for HACCP Certification (NCHC) associated with K-BIP has initiated the process of auditing and certification of 45 Food Processing and Allied Units from our State and outside the State. The audits are carried out through the Trained Auditors selected from the various related Departments / Agencies of the Government. To create awareness on Food Safety Standards & HACCP, National Centre for HACCP Certification (NCHC) organised a Seminar on Food Safety & HACCP on May 15, 2015 along with the Hotel Tech Kerala 2015 Exhibition for the Hospitality Sector organised at CIAL Exhibition Centre, Kochi. To provide awareness on Food Safety to the MSMEs in the Food Processing & Allied Sectors of the State, the Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Kerala in association with Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety organised an ‘Awareness Workshop on Food Safety’ on April 29, 2016.