India is the world’s second–largest producer of fruits and vegetables. India enjoys a similar stature in the production of marine products, and meat and poultry. India is the single largest producer of milk in the world, with the production estimated at 137.7 MT.
India has the largest livestock population across the globe which is equal to 512 million, including 119 million milch (in-milk and dry) animals, 135 million goats and 65 million sheep. The segment contributes about 25 per cent to the country’s farm Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
To reduce post-harvest losses of fruits and vegetables, Government plans to set up 500 cold chain projects in the country. Moreover, 42 sanctioned mega food parks in the country are likely to become operational by 2018
As on November 2016, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a major scheme worth US$ 72 million to address the urgent need to upgrade Food Testing Laboratories in India.
Given the above context, it is easy to understand that the food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India. The country’s food processing industry ranks fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports.
Strategic geographic location and proximity to food importing nations benefit India in terms of exporting processed foods. Main export destinations for food products have been the Middle East and Southeast Asia.