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Assocham sees scope for more job generation

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, April 16

AS many as 12.73 lakh job opportunities are likely to be provided in the food-processing sector with the implementation of the approvals given and industrial entrepreneurial memoranda filed so far. The industry generates employment to 54,000 persons per Rs 1,000 crore of investment whereas in textiles and in paper industries it is 45,000 and 25,000 persons respectively.

Giving these statistics, the President of Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), Mr R.K. Somany, said food processing had the largest employment generation potential. He was addressing the national seminar on food processing industry, jointly organised by Assocham and the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI), here on Wednesday,

Mr Somany also quoted a recent study which concluded that the food-processing sector was vital to the country's prosperity and the size of the industry was expected to double by 2005. According to Assocham, food-processing industry was of enormous significance for our country's development in view of the vital linkages and synergies that it promotes between the two pillars of our economy — industry and agriculture. To boost growth in this sector, both the Government and industry would have to work in close unison.

``The simple fact that the post-harvest losses are about 25 to 30 per cent in our country should serve as an eye opener for all of us. Even marginal reductions in these losses are bound to give us great relief on the food security front as well as improve the income levels of the farmers.''

Mr Somany said the processed food industry ranked fifth in size in the country representing 6.3 per cent of GDP, accounts for 13 per cent of the country's exports and involves 6 per cent of total industrial investment. The Indian food industry's sales turnover was about Rs 14,000 crore annually at the start of year 2000.

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