India is a huge country in terms of population. We stand at a population of 1.3 Billion currently. Most of the people in India are farmers by trade.
In terms of the total food production globally, India ranks second behind China.
So why is food processing even required?
The major reason for processing food is to increase the shelf life so that raw food does not go bad. By processing food we are able to increase the shelf life and are able to complete the logistics cycle to get the food to the end consumer.
As compared to the rest of the world India is way behind in terms of food processing. We process approximately 10% of our total food produce. In the United States and Malaysia they process 80% in France 70%, Thailand 30% and Australia 25%.
There is tremendous wastage because the farmers are not able to get the correct price for their raw produce and since there is no processing facility the food goes bad.
Another major reason for food not being processed is one major missing component in the supply chain across the country which is the COLD STORAGE systems. Without having cold storages strategically placed throughout the country it is impossible to set up a workable supply chain system for food products domestically or even globally. A major challenge is the cost attached to setting up a cold storage chain.
I run a company called EGK Foods and we are heavily invested in Onion Processing. The data specific to the Onion Sector in India is even more staggering. The total volumes of onions produced are about 20 Million Metric Tonnes of which 25% (5 Million Metric Tonnes) are wasted annually. Again the reasons are the ones mentioned above.
The Indian Government at the same time has taken an aggressive interest in positively affecting this problem. There are a number of schemes set up to offer grants as well as subsidies to companies who are working in the agricultural field. Through our recent registration in Startup India at EGK Foods, we are proactively exploring government schemes to try and add support to our existing infrastructure.
The demand for processed food from the consumer side is definitely on an upswing as we are moving to a more convenience based economy. Through food processing consumers are now able to avail of food products at the consumer level which they would never have even thought of.
On the supply side many Public and Private organisations are working extremely hard to try and solve this problem in the most organised manner.
We can expect many more food processing companies to come up in the near future.
>Note: All figures are taken from the report from the Ministry of Food Processing.
Satyajit Roy, 30, is fondly known in food circles as OnionKnight. Currently the CEO of EGK Foods Pvt. Ltd., a food processing concern that deals primarily with Onions and its by products, Everyday Gourmet Kitchen has grown exponentially in the past 18 months.
With plans to build a modern innovative factory that is compliant with all the sustainability laws, Satyajit and EGK Foods are dedicated to make a real difference to the Onion farmers and the Onion farming trade in the years to come.
Satyajit also enjoys literature and the performing arts with a keen interest in storytelling and story-listening. He is also involved in guiding early stage startups avoid common mistake through participation in Entrepreneurship Cells as a mentor.
Visit “This Mumbai Based Food Processing Startup is the Largest Producer of the Fried Onions” for more details.