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Agriculture accounts for about 1/4th of the Indian economy but employs about 2/3rd of its population. India has about 161 million hectares of arable land of which 55 million is irrigated. Considering these factors, it is clear that there is immense potential for the agriculture sector, and therefore the food sector. Food processing enhances shelf life and adds value even if agricultural produce is merely cleaned, sorted, and packaged. Further processing into high value-added products garners greater revenue for the producer. Food Processing is also employment intensive in that for every Rs. 1 million invested, 1.8 jobs and 6.4 indirect jobs are created. The Processed Food Industry is divided into the following broad segments:


Primary Processed Food – which includes products such as fruits and vegetables, packed milk, unbranded edible oil, milled rice, flour, tea, coffee, pulses, spices, and salt, sold in packed or non-packed forms.

Value-added Processed Food – which includes products such as processed fruits and vegetables, juices, jams, pickles, squashes, concentrate, processed dairy products (ghee, paneer, cheese, butter), processed poultry, processed marine products, confectionary, chocolates, alcoholic beverages.

The Global Processed Food Industry is valued at US $ 3.2 trillion and accounts for over 3/4th of global food sales. Despite the large size of the industry, only 6% of the processed food is traded the world over as compared to bulk agricultural commodities where 16% of produce is traded.

Some Skill Gaps as Identified by Industry:

  • Inadequate education of farmers about latest techniques for minimising wastage
  • Inadequate knowledge of ways of maintaining the quality of produce
  • Inadequate knowledge of machine handling
  • Poor knowledge of operating in a hygienic environment
  • Inadequate ability to forecast demand
  • Inadequate communication skills, especially in local language because of diverse dialects

InSkills offers programs in skill areas like:

Agriculture Extension Service Provider - AGR/Q7601

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