India is a major food producer and consumer, accounting for 70% of its USD 6 billion retail sector. World Food India (WFI) 2017 was organized by the Indian Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) to give international companies a platform to enter India through joint ventures with local partners. The event was held from November 3–5, 2017, on the lawns of Rajpath in New Delhi, the country’s capital.
The event, which included food street, industry-specific seminars, state and national exhibitions, and theme structures, aimed to transform the food economy and achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income by making India a hub for sourcing and a preferred investment destination.
The food processing industry in Europe and India is primarily driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since the giants can find partners across continents, we focused more on SMEs. Small and medium-sized businesses are the ones with the expertise who wish to enter the Indian market and increase their market share, but they are unsure of how to proceed.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did World Food India 2017’s inauguration and saw Indian states display their infrastructure, policies, and produce to over 30 foreign nations, including France, Spain, and Abu Dhabi, among others. Germany, Japan, and Denmark were the partner countries, and Italy and the Netherlands were the countries under focus.
In the World Bank’s rankings for “doing business,” India has advanced 30 places. In terms of greenfield investment, it was ranked #1 in the world in 2016. It is also making quick progress on the global competitiveness, logistics, and innovation indices.
In addition to organizing the Great India Food Street, which provided a chance to sample both Indian and foreign cuisine, WFI also organized conferences and exhibitions to foster collaborations and spread knowledge throughout the economy. International producers could test their produce on Indian palates to see how it would respond. Along with business opportunities, the street had a lighter side, where top Indian and international chefs collaborated to create something international but used Indian ingredients and spices.
The record-breaking Khichdi was also prepared for over 900 kg. More than fifty individuals worked to prepare the dish, which was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for the “largest serving of rice and beans” in a seven-meter kadhai (cooking pot) with a 100-liter capacity.
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World Food India 2023: the second edition of the WFI event
The international event was not able to be organized in the following years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed the second edition of the event this year. At Bharat Mandapam in the nation’s capital, Modi will officially open the second iteration of WFI. The final day of the three-day event is November 5. To support SHGs, the prime minister will provide “Seed Capital Assistance” on this occasion to more than a lakh members.
According to an official statement, this support will enable SHGs to better realize their prices in the market through enhanced packaging and high-quality manufacturing. In addition, Modi will open a “Food Street” in honor of World Food India 2023. It will be a one-of-a-kind culinary experience with over 200 chefs participating and presenting traditional Indian cuisine, along with regional cuisines and royal culinary heritage.
India’s way forward in the WFI 2023
The celebration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets aims to highlight India as the “food basket of the world.” Government agencies, business people in the field, farmers, entrepreneurs, and other interested parties will be able to network, form partnerships, and look into investment opportunities in the agri-food sector. There will be CEO discussions with an emphasis on investment and ease of doing business. There will be several structures built to highlight the strength and creativity of the Indian food processing sector.
48 sessions covering multiple aspects of the food processing industry will be held during the event, focusing on quality control, financial empowerment, and advancements in machinery and technology. More than 80 countries are expected to attend the event, including the CEOs of well-known food processing businesses. A ‘Reverse Buyer-Seller Meet’ with more than 1,200 foreign buyers will also be held.
Japan will be the event’s focal country, and the Netherlands will act as the partner nation. A senior official in the Ministry of Food Processing stated last month that during the second WFI event, the food processing industry is probably going to draw in more than Rs 75,000 crore in investment. Of the Rs 75,000 crore committed in the first edition, a Rs 23,000 crore investment had come.