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Food Business Opportunities Galore in Kochi
In the current day and age, the development of Food processing industries is given high priority by the government of India because this sector plays a crucial role in bridging the two power economies together, industry and agriculture. Kerala’s food processing industry has set its foot firmly as it serves the fast emerging domestic market as well as the steady-growing export market. Starting a Food business in this region presents enormous and exciting opportunities for individuals and groups beaming with high energy to make an impact in this industry.
Crops Cultivated in the Ernakulam District
Kerala is one of the states well known for its cash crops, food crops and marine fish production. In 2015-2016 fish production was 0.73 million tones and in the same year cash crops constituted 62.8% of the total cultivated area while food crops accounted for just 10.21%. Cash crops includeSpices, Coconut, Areca nut, Coffee, Cardamom and Teaetc to name a few. 96% of India’s output of pepper is from Kerala. The Ernakulam district in Kochi being situated in the central part of the state is the leading producer of Pineapple and Nutmeg. Major crops produced in the Ernakulam district are Rice (24, 407 T), Tapioca (1, 78,642 T), Cashew (350 T), Banana (49537 T), Areca nut (6,395 T), Black pepper (995 T) and Coconut (292 million nuts). Kochi has abundance of water supply from lakes, backwaters and rain-fed rivers supporting the growth of several other crops like Ginger, Turmeric, Cocoa and Plantain.
High Demand for Food Processing Sector
The Ernakulam district in Kochi has seen a massive progress in the development of food processing industry over the years. The district has 4,536 agriculture-based units having a total investment of Rs. 906 crore with over 40,000 employees involved. The region’s food processing industry is in focus because of the rise in the consumption of spices, fish, meat, oil and ready-to-eat food products. This has attracted entrepreneurs who are interested in improving their business turnover along with the quality standards. The availability of raw materials, high quality water, skilled labor and infrastructural facilities is strengthening the government’s vision to make food processing sector rise up to international standards. The employment opportunities are very high as there are 69,000 food processing industrial units that account for 23% of the total industrial enterprises in the state. The state has also successfully established two mega food parks in Palakkad and Alappuzha by KINFRA and KSIDC respectively.
For further information on food parks, follow the below link:
Drawbacks in this Sector
The food processing industries in Kochi and rest of the state have their own share weaknesses and challenges amidst the opportunities. There is a decline in the productivity of Rice and there are high post harvest losses particularly in fruits and vegetables. This sector experiences stiff competition in the global market, thereby adulteration of food products is on the rise. The state also comprises of a large number of industrial units in the unorganized sector and the contributions from them are not considered in the network. Apart from these, reluctance in providing funds for smooth operation and expansion of industry and improper quality inspection particularly of fruits and vegetables result in great losses. Food business and country’s economy would be improved if the problems in infrastructure and proper distribution of food products are overcome.
The food industries in Kochi are major aspects for facilitating faster growth of the city. There are many food processing and food packaging organizations existing in the city. Some of them include Anand Food Packers, Visco food products, Propyl Packs, Sri Mahalakshmi food industries, Coins food and spices etc.