Amritsar: Highlighting the schemes of her ministry, Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Saturday said the demand for food is likely to shoot up three times in another few years in the country.
Holding an interactive session with SAD-BJP MLAs of Punjab here, she said "the rate at which India's population is growing -- 1.5 per cent per year --, the demand for food is likely to go up three times in another few years".
She said, "due to wastage of food, its availability declines which directly leads to inflation. So, if we control wastage by taking help of food processing industry, we can control inflation."
She said food worth over Rs 40,000 crore is being wasted during harvesting and transportation in the country.
While addressing the MLAs, Badal said, "There is an urgent need to take processing to the farm level."
The Union minister said she would now cover all the agro-states nationwide and sensitise elected representatives and officers about various schemes of food processing industries ministry to avail maximum benefit out of it.
Giving details of various projects directly financed by the ministry and the Centrally-sponsored projects, she said the ministry extends subsidies to the tune of Rs 50 crore for mega food park to Rs 5 lakh for a meat shop.
She said the government would approve 17 food parks across the country over the next few months.
Among other projects, she said, her ministry would also give grants for setting up modern abattoirs in all the major cities in Punjab. She said these abattoirs would be managed by the municipal corporations.