The economy of Madhya Pradesh has to be improved, developing the state into a major market, in order to attract investments from big brands, said Prataap Snacks MD and CEO Amit Kumat. He was speaking in a panel discussion on 'Making MP Heartland of Food Processing' during the Business Today Business Leaders of Madhya Pradesh event in Bhopal on Wednesday.
During this session, panelists touched on points ranging from how to promote employment generation in the field of food processing in the context of Madhya Pradesh, and improving the quality of agricultural produce in the state, among other topics.
Nikhil Rathi, Regional Manager, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Agri Business Division, ITC Ltd, pointed out that agriculture and food processing sector have a lot of potential to increase farmers' income, and at the same time it could multiply the employment generation opportunities.
"We have two mega food parks, 8 food parks in Madhya Pradesh. In terms of utilisation of these large food parks that we have... there's not much we have done in MP. There's major untapped potential. The entrepreneurial spirit around that... I definitely see that we will be able to add a lot of value to. Second area where a lot of things could be done is around the capacity that we create in the FPOs," said Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Partner, Government and Public Services, EY India in his opening remarks during the panel discussion.
Sundaram also emphasised on the need to focus on quality control, with investments in testing labs, training and sensitising farmers about the fertilisers they use in their crops, in order to check the level of chemical residue in agricultural yields. He suggested agricultural universities to lend a hand in his venture.
On measures to facilitate agricultural procurement and value addition, Rathi suggested government to review levies on procurement to encourage private players' participation in the process. "The agri supply chain, due to very thin margins, is very competitive. Government can rationalise levies that private players have to pay to encourage them to participate in the procurement process," he said.