Plans afoot for ‘plant protein cluster’ in Nagpur

BL Mangaluru Bureau | | Updated on: Jul 05, 2022
Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, Plant Based Foods Industry Association, addresses a workshop on plant-based food export  held in Mangaluru

Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, Plant Based Foods Industry Association, addresses a workshop on plant-based food export held in Mangaluru

Aims to develop localised supply chain for plant-based food export

Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA), with the support of the Nagpur Dall Millers Cluster, announced plans for a plant protein cluster.

Speaking at a workshop on plant-based food export, Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of PBFIA, proposed the setting up of India's ‘first plant protein cluster’ for the development of a much-needed localised supply chain.

Many global food companies focusing on plant-based proteins source their raw materials from the Asian market, he said.

Eat Just, a US-based producer of plant-based egg alternatives, procures its main ingredient — mung beans (indigenous to the Indian subcontinent) —from Myanmar rather than the main producer, India, he said.

“Perhaps we are using a lot of fertiliser, or there are other aspects we need to identify before the competition seizes the chance. Hence, it serves as a wake-up call for India to take action,” he said.

A statement from the association said the cluster will aim to make India a credible global supplier of plant proteins. Nagpur is a strategic location because of the availability of raw materials, workforce and land. Its connectivity to Telangana (Adilabad), Madhya Pradesh (Chhindwara, Jabalpur), and Chhattisgarh (Rajnandgaon) is an added factor, the statement said.

Manohar Bhojwani, Chairman of Nagpur Dall Millers Cluster, said that, as an efficient alternative to animal proteins, mung beans, chickpeas, millets and other plant protein raw material offer a range of opportunities for value-addition.

The statement said the plant-based food market is expected to grow from ₹2,000 crore in 2022 to ₹40,000 crore by 2032.

VK Vidyarthi, General Manager, Agricultural and Processed Food Exports Development Authority (APEDA), said plant-based food could have enhanced export potential. “We are working to create export standards for vegan products to address the huge overseas opportunity, based on the principle of ‘Ahimsa Parmo Dharma’ [non-violence], increasing farmers’ income and addressing climate change,” he said.

PBFIA said it aims to create a network of organisations, food handlers, start-ups, investors, and consumers, besides disseminating technical and market information and research to aid the growth of businesses in the plant-based food sector.

It will also highlight the role of the industry in promoting health, food security, fair practices, and meeting sustainable development goals.

Published on July 05, 2022
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