Kerala has marked its strong presence at the Gulfood 2024 in Dubai by showcasing its potential in the food, ready-to-eat and food tech sector at an investor conclave organised by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.

The conclave exhibited the strengths and opportunities in the State’s food and technology sector which have been identified as priority sectors by the government for inward investments and development.

Presenting a detailed overview of the State’s food ecosystem, Suman Billa, Principal Secretary (Industries and NORKA), Kerala, said that Kerala has an impressive infrastructure dedicated to food processing, including five state-of-the-art food processing parks, two mega food parks and upcoming mini food parks. The State is also home to a spices park, underscoring its rich heritage in spice cultivation, Billa added.

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“We are encouraged by the response to the Investor Conclave and will support investors in their entrepreneurial journey in Kerala’s food and food tech sector”, he said.

S Harikishore, Managing Director, KSIDC and Director, Department of Industries and Commerce, said the conclave aims to attract foreign investment in Kerala’s high-growth food sector as well as inspire entrepreneurs from the Gulf region to build flourishing businesses in the state. The State government is committed to create an enabling environment for both domestic and foreign investors to engage in the food-based ecosystem.

Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE and Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman, Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group, UAE, also addressed the guests.

The Kerala co-exhibitors at the Kerala pavilion at Gulfood 2024, that included Beecraft Honey, Cremberie Yoghurt, Foo Foods, Glenview Tea, Global Natural Food Processing Company, Harrisons Malayalam, Malabar Natural Foods, Manjilas Food Tech, Nasfood Exim, Pavizham Rice, Protech Organo and Veliyath Food Products were also provided with an opportunity to interact with the potential investors who participated at the Investors Conclave.

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Kerala’s food ecosystem has benefited from a series of reforms that build on the Kerala State Industrial Policy 2023, providing a much-needed impetus to the sunrise sectors. Currently, Kerala contributes significantly to India’s agricultural output, accounting for 97 per cent of India’s pepper, 70 per cent of cocoa, and substantial shares in coffee, cashew, coconut, and seafood processing.

The State also has a robust ecosystem of R&D institutions dedicated to the food sector. With these systems in place, the State is poised to be the next big name in the food processing sector, both nationally and internationally.