Pune is set to be a hub for food processing given its location and character of population. Also, there are different initiatives being taken up in Pune, which include the Government of Maharashtra’s approved Rs 100 crore project for horticulture development, upcoming mega food parks, vegetable clusters set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Wine Board, NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), NAFARI (National Agriculture and Food Analysis and Research Institute) and MCCIA (The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture), according to Pradeep Chordia, Chordia Food Products in an AFSTI (Association of Food Scientists and Technologists [India]) event held recently.
“In fact, NAFARI and MCCIA were the first few organisations to recognise agriculture as business,” said Chordia. Not only this, Pune is situated in almost the centre of the country. This allows it to have accessibility to distribution points like ports. “Take the JNPT, which is just 50-60 km away from the city and provides easy doors for import/export trade,” he added. He further said that if a man spent Rs 5 a day for value-added food then the total potential for Maharashtra would be around Rs 20,000 crore. That would require an investment of Rs 500 crore and would create around 20 lakh jobs for the state.