The Ministry of Food Processing plans to invite request for proposals (RFP) soon from private players for setting up a non-banking financial company (NBFC), which will exclusively cater to the credit and lending needs of the food processing sector.

Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday said the NBFC will be set up with an initial corpus of ₹2,000 crore. “The request for proposal for the NBFC should be hopefully out this month...within the next 2-3 weeks. We hope the NBFC will be in place by the end of this year,” she said While the government will hold a minority stake in the NBFC, the majority stake will be held by private players.

“Many international funds have shown interest. We will be able to put together a consortium of investors for this non-banking financial institution,” she said. Badal was speaking at the sidelines of the launch of a report “Fixing Asia’s food system” commissioned by Cargill in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit and FICCI.

Badal said in the coming year countries like India and China will set the food trends for the world and there is an urgent need for partnership between governments and industries to collectively address the issues to fix Asia’s food systems in a holistic manner. She pointed out that stakeholders need to commit to zero tolerance of food wastage and work towards reduction in wastage during transportation, harvesting and storage.

Asian food system

The report pointed out that as Asia’s population grows and urbanises, it will be key for regional co-operation to improve and to make food supply chains smarter, better integrated and more efficient. The report identified key mega trends that will influence food systems in the Asian region, which include faster urbanisation, twin challenges of obesity and under-nutrition and consumers seeking greater transparency and sustainability in food systems.