To place India on the world food map, ‘World Food India 2017’ provides a platform to network and collaborate with Indian and international businesses – packed with exhibitions, sector-specific seminars, a food street and record making cooking sessions.
India is one of the largest producers of food and also one of the largest consumers – with a USD 6 billion retail sector out of which 70 pc is food, that is set to further increase by 2020.
Thus, to provide a platform for global companies to enter India through joint ventures with local partners, the Indian Food Processing Industries Ministry came up with World Food India (WFI) 2017 at the lawns of Rajpath in New Delhi, from November 3-5.
With state and country exhibitions, sector-specific seminars, food street, and theme pavilions, the event aims to transform food economy and work towards realising the vision of doubling farmers’ income by establishing India as a preferred investment destination and sourcing hub.
Inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the event has Indian states showcasing their produce, policies, infrastructure and what tie-ups they are interested in, for over 30 international countries including France, Spain, and Abu Dhabi, amongst others, amid which Germany, Japan and Denmark are partner countries, while Italy and the Netherlands are the focus countries.
“Traditional Indian home-based techniques like fermentation have resulted in creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys (sauces) and murabbas (sweet preserved fruit) that excite people across the world,” Modi said. “India has jumped 30 ranks in the World Bank ‘doing business’ rankings. It was ranked number one in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment, and is also rapidly progressing on the ‘Global Innovation Index’, ‘Global Logistics Index’ and ‘Global Competitiveness Index’,” he added.
“Food processing sector in India and also across the world notably in Europe, is driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We are targeting more on SMEs because the giants manage to go across continents and find their partners. It’s the small and medium sized companies who have the know-how and want to expand their footprint and want to enter Indian market but don’t know how to go about it,” Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing, India, told MIG.
“We have met various state representatives and investors here. The event opens various business opportunities and we are presenting Chhattisgarh in a good light, highlighting the benefits it offers for business,” Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, told MIG.
Highlighting the Indian cuisine
Apart from conferences and exhibitions aiming to share understanding and opportunities across the food economy to facilitate partnerships and propel growth, WFI also offers an experience to savour both Indian and international delicacies.
“International companies have a chance to test their produce on the Indian palette to see how it reacts. The street not only comes with business opportunities but also has a light side to it where international chefs work together with top India chefs to create something, which is international but with Indian ingredients and spices,” Badal added.
The record breaking ‘khichdi’
To popularise khichdi and its recipe in restaurant and kitchens globally by Indian Foreign Missions, over 900 kgs of khichdi was prepared today, by renowned Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who has been roped in as brand ambassador of the ‘Great India Food Festival’, for the three-day event.
— Chef Sanjeev Kapoor (@KhanaKhazana) November 4, 2017
In a seven-metre kadhai (cooking pot) with a 100-litre capacity, more than 50 people were involved in the preparation of the dish, which has also made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the ‘largest serving of rice and beans’ (khichdi).
Khichdi (cooked rice and lentils) is a traditional Indian staple food, which has been selected as ‘Brand India Food’ as it symbolises the country’s unity in diversity.