Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday unveiled a Rs 10,000-crore scheme to support local micro food enterprises to go global.
“To implement the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘vocal for local’ with global outreach, a scheme will be launched to help 200,000 micro food enterprises,” she said. The move is aimed at exporting indigenous food items, such as fox nuts from Bihar, mango varieties of Uttar Pradesh, saffron of Kashmir, and tapioca from Tamil Nadu to global markets.
Sitharaman said the scheme was in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for taking local products to the global markets.
The scheme will benefit 200,000 micro food enterprises to improve the quality of local products and build international brands.
“This fund will help reach untapped export markets in view of improved health consciousness,” the finance minister said, adding that it will help micro food enterprises to modernize production techniques, add scale, and build a brand.
“The scheme will be executed with a cluster-based approach.. This is one way local capacities, local value-added products could have a global outreach. They can create products of global standards and this will be assisted through this fund,” the minister said.
Most of the products the Centre aims to deal with under this scheme “will be related to health and wellness products, nutritional products, herbal products, organic products, and products which are now being used as alternatives for a healthy living,” she said.
The clusters will focus on organic and herbal materials or nutritional and health wellness-related food items, an area in which India has great strength.
The central government said the scheme will empower people and entrepreneurs.
The initiative will help India build quality agri-assets and infrastructure, which will benefit small farmers, according to Amith Agarwal, co-founder, AgriBazaar. “I envision a ‘Farm In India’ economy alongside a ‘Made in India’ economy in the coming years,” he said.