PMFME scheme for micro food processing units launched: Centre

The Centre on Tuesday said that as part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has launched the centrally sponsored PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme for providing financial, technical and business support for upgradation of two lakh micro food processing enterprises.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Food and Processing Industries, Rameswar Teli said that with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the scheme aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and promote formalization of the sector.

There are about 25 lakh unregistered food processing enterprises in the country. Nearly 66 per cent of these units are located in rural areas.

“The scheme adopts One District One Product (ODOP) approach to reap benefits of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products. So far, ODOPs for 135 unique products in 707 districts in 35 States/UTs have been approved by the Ministry,” said the minister.

The minister stated that the unorganized food processing industry in India faces various challenges including: (a) capital deficiency and low bank credit; (b) lack of productivity and innovation due to limited skills and access to modern technology and machinery for production and packaging; (c) lack of branding & marketing skills and inability to integrate with the supply chains; (d) deficient quality and food safety control systems, including lack of basic awareness on good hygienic and manufacturing practices.

“The PMFME scheme envisages to reduce wastage, creation of off-farm job opportunities and aids in achieving the overarching objective of doubling the farmers’ income,” he said.

The minister informed the Lok Sabha that the objectives of the scheme, inter-alia, include building the capability of micro enterprises by enabling the increased access to credit by existing micro food processing entrepreneurs, FPOs, Self Help Groups and Co-operatives, and integration with the organized supply chain by strengthening branding and marketing.