The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) announced today its approval for a R250 crore (€36m) scheme started in 2007 designed to allow domestic processors to compete in the international market place. The programme is split into four sections.
Research and Development will look to develop new products and new cost effective technologies for preservation and packaging for food products. It will also cover standardization of various factors such as colouring agents, preservatives, pesticides residues etc.
Setting up and upgrading of quality control procedures including extra funding for food testing laboratories has also been earmarked. This will involve the establishment of a surveillance system for monitoring quality and composition of food, analysis of samples received from food processing industries, and other stakeholders, reduction in time of analysis of samples by reducing transportation time of samples.
Implementing recognised control systems including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), ISO 22000, ISO 14000, as well as Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
It is hoped the adoption of such quality systems will prepare the sector “to face global competition in international trade in post WTO regime, and enable adherence to stringent quality and hygiene norms”, said a government statement.
Promotional activities to improve awareness about the India food processing sector, attract investment and familiarise existing and prospective entrepreneurs with modern production and packaging were also announced.
“The Scheme will benefit all stakeholders and help the Indian industry keep abreast technologically of international best practices and prepare them to face international competition,” said a CCEA statement.