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Shvoong Home>Science>Agronomy - Agriculture>Importance of Food Processing Industry Summary

Importance of Food Processing Industry

Article Summary   by:KhilendraBasnyat     Original Author: Khilendra Basnyat
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Importance of Food Processing Industry

Khilendra Basnyat

In general, food processing industry (FPI) refers to processing of agricultural products. It includes horticulture, animal husbandry including dairy products, fisheries and to some extent plantation and forestry, especially medicinal plants.

Food processing is a significant component of agricultural processing industries. Worldwide, they are considered sunrise industries and have the potential of attracting both domestic and foreign investment.

In FPI, processing usually involves more of preserving than others. Apart from forward links such as processing and marketing, such industry helps create backward links by further high credit inputs and other services to primary products.

Broadly speaking, FPI can be divided into two segments, traditional and modern. Traditional FPI includes grain milling, tea, coffee, sugar, edible oil, beverages and tobacco. and constituting about 70 per cent of this industry production.

The modern segment of FPI includes activities such as reprocessing, mixing preserving, packaging, etc. These activities are of paramount importance for promoting food processing industry.

Since the raw materials for modern processing industry would be produced by a small geographically scattered framers, fishermen, etc, such industry should be developed in two stages:

Stage one should be in the form of collection, grading, cleaning, pre-cooling, preliminary processing and presenting packaging and refrigerated transporting of raw materials for being processed in factories.

Stage two should consist of processing properly and it itself would have two distinct segments, each differing from the other in terms of products characteristics, quality price, etc.

The fastest growing industry in modern segment of FPI is breakfast cereals. Due to changing lifestyles and advertisement, this industry can be more popular in the future.

Industries such as producing dehydrated onion and garlic, canned vegetables, Jams and jellies, ready to serve beverages such as apple juice, pulps of banana, pineapple, guava etc, have shown the highest growth rate within this subsector in term of value of output as well as growth of net fixed assets. Also, employment has been found highest in this segment.

The tremulous food processing sector helps develop the agricultural sector by opening new vistas. Actually, through backward and forward links, food processing adds value to farmers, increases their income and motivates them for more productivity.. To bring about a qualitative change in the social and economic conditions of the rural areas, agricultural products must be utilized for processing.

Some countries consider FPI as an avenue through which rural income can be increased. It is because FPI is believed to have the capacity of many jobs in farming, transportation, retailing etc.

Nepal has the potential for agricultural food products. However, there is the need to strengthen the marketing and processing infrastructure. To improve marketing efficiency, the government should provide recent information regarding prices, grading, packaging and processing industry through computerized market vigilant services.

There is a need to augment safe, hygienic, nutritive and better quality value added processed products. Farmers can prepare them for global competition only if quality is improved.

To encourage pre-processing facilities, training centers should be established for the farmers in the area of post-harvest management of agricultural products. Such centers should be set up near the area of production to avoid wastage as well as transportation of raw materials.

A large part of perishable crops such as fruits and vegetables do not reach the markets. The farmers in remote areas suffer more than those near to markets. FPI can collect products from doorsteps. Therefore, they can take them to the industry before they perish. The farmers will get better value, creating higher demand for goods produced by other sectors.

Establishing link between the producers and the processing industry by locating the later in rural areas will result in faster use of perishable agricultural products. This will minimize post-harvester’s losses of food crops. Actually, storage of fruits and vegetables during the post-harvest period at maximum temperature is most effective in reducing the loss.

There is a need and scope for development of post-harvest infrastructure in our country, especially for fruits and vegetables. The government should consider processing, storage and transport of the commodity not only to avoid huge storage losses but also to make healthy fruits and vegetables available to indigenous consumers.

Since most raw materials produced in our country at present are not suitable for processing, the gap needs to be filled most urgently. To improve both the raw materials and processing industry, it is essential to develop varieties that can give high field for processing.

Building of agriculture related industrial parks and estates will help to collect individual works easily apart from making them economical. Consequently, it will help to produce more of value added products, especially by the farmers and the landless to add their income.

Proper utilization of fruits and vegetables to make different types of processed products is an important way to stabilize prices. To increase products availability during off-season and to reduce wastage of fruits and vegetables is also significant.

In fact, it is essential to utilize waste from processing for producing food, animal feed and other industrial products. This will not only improve the economic of cooperation but will also be environment friendly. What is more, there is an urgent need to harmonize the existing food laws and to bring about development orientation to facilitate faster growth of FPI.



Published: April 25, 2012   
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