The Government has brought a scheme for the development of micro food enterprises (MFEs) in India, which is worth ₹10,000 crores.
Our Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi has unveiled the Atmanirbhar Bharat: The Special economic & comprehensive relief package of ₹ 20 lakh crores. The objective behind this package is to provide much-needed relief and credit support to various sectors of the economy that are affected due to COVID-19 lockdown.
On 15th May 2020, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman delivered the 3rd phase of the Relief Package and announced important agricultural, food, and administrative reforms covering small farmers and food businesses (FBOs). In this phase, she has unveiled the mega-development scheme of ₹10,000 crores for the growth of micro food enterprises (MFEs) in India.
Let us now discuss this scheme in detail.
Scheme for growth of Micro Food Enterprises
Along the lines of PM Modi Ji’s “vocal for local with global outreach” vision, the mega-development scheme of ₹10,000 crores will be launched to aid 2 lac MFEs in India. This scheme will focus on:-
- Improving health and safety benchmarks.
- integration with retail outlets.
- Enhancing the incomes of these small FBOs (MFE) in India.
Implementation of the Scheme
Here are the key areas to work under his scheme-
i. FSSAI Registration:
Today there are around 25 lakh food processing FBOs not having FSSAI Registration. These constitute 98% of the food sector which is unorganized or informal. About 66 % of these FBOs are in rural areas and 80% of these are family-based units. All these shall be given FSSAI Registration, so as to bring them into the organized sector.
Next, the MFEs units have to undergo technical up-gradation to be able to attain the FSSAI food safety standards. Upon FSSAI registration, they will be given technical aid so that they can attain the FSSAI food safety standards. This will also increase their brand marketing.
iii. Cluster-based approach:
This scheme will be implemented on a cluster-based approach. Clusters will be formed for various food crops such as:-
- Makhana from Bihar,
- Mangoes in Uttar Pradesh,
- Kesar (saffron) in J&K,
- Bamboo shoots in the Northeast,
- Chilies from Andhra Pradesh and
- Tapioca in Tamil Nadu
iv. Export promotion through health safety
With the improved health and safety standards, along with the integration with retail chains, the untapped export markets can also be tapped due to the raised global health consciousness.
With the boost to the MFE units, there shall be a reduction in food wastage, creation of arm job opportunities and this will double farmers’ income. No doubt, these micro food enterprises will be able to grow seamlessly and become a global brand very soon.
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