Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the World Food India 2017 festival at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
PM Modi invited global investors to do business in India, which he said was "easier now" after his government repealed archaic laws and launched attractive fiscal incentives.
Describing India as "one of the fastest growing economies" in the world, Modi said it was an opportune time for global businesses to invest in the country.
"India has jumped 30 ranks this year in the World Bank's (Ease of) Doing Business rankings. India was ranked number one in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment.
"India is also rapidly progressing on the Global Innovation Index, Global Logistics Index and Global Competitiveness Index," Modi told the gathering of global businessmen at the inauguration of World Food India 2017.
Billed as the biggest congregation of global investors and business leaders of major food companies, the three-day event aims to transform the food economy and realise the government's vision of doubling famers' income by establishing India as a preferred investment destination and sourcing-hub for the global food processing industry.
"Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri-linkages. This is a clear opportunity for global chains."
Modi said India offered single window clearance for investors and had launched attractive fiscal incentives.
"There are opportunities in post-harvest management, like primary processing and storage, preservation infra, cold chain and refrigerated transportation.
"There is also immense potential for food processing and value addition in areas such as organic and fortified foods."
He said food processing was a way of life in India that had 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."
Modi said farmers were central to India's efforts in food processing and as such the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to create world-class food processing infrastructure.
"This will leverage investment of $5 billion, benefit two million farmers and create more than half a million jobs."
During the World Food India conference, top chef Sanjeev Kapoor will attempt to create a Guinness World Record by preparing Brand India khichdi using 800 kg of grains in a giant kadhai.
The home-cooked staple food symbolises India's great culture of unity in diversity, said Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal during a curtain raiser event for the conference. "Khichdi is considered nutritious, healthiest food in India and it is is eaten by poor and rich alike, irrespective of their class. It symbolises India's great culture of unity in diversity. So it has been selected as the brand of Indian food," Badal had said.
The Brand India khichdi will be prepared using ingredients like rice, moong beans, amaranth, jowar, bajra, barley and Indian spices. It will be distributed to visitors including ambassadors and delegates from over 60 countries.
Union minister Smriti Zubin Irani said that the mega global food festival was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "transforming" food economy and doubling farmers' income. "My best wishes to @MOFPI_GOI for #WorldFoodIndia which is in line with Hon PM's vision of transforming food economy, doubling farmer income," Irani said in a tweet.
World Food India, a three-day event that celebrates the food and beverage industry in India, will be a large gathering of investors, manufacturers and organisations from the global food ecosystem.
More than 40 countries and 27 states governments are participating in the exhibition, being organised in association with industry body CII.
The event is being organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Government of India.
PM MODI INAUGURATES WORLD FOOD INDIA FESTIVAL: HIGHLIGHTS
#Our farmers, whom we respectfully call as 'annadatas' are central to our efforts in food processing.
#Over a million passengers consume food on trains in India in a single day, they are potential customers for food processing industry.
#Simple, home-based techniques, like fermentation, have resulted in creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys & murabbas that excite both the elite and the masses across the world.
#India has jumped 30 ranks this year in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings.
#India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. GST has eliminated multiplicity of taxes: PM Modi in Delhi