Shri Anand Sharma
Inaugurating the 27th edition of AAHAR- the International Food and Hospitality Fair, Shri Anand Sharma emphasized on creating an integrated value chain in the food processing and hospitality sectors to enhance India’s shares in global exports and to face futures challenges. While stressing the need to focus on the post- harvest management of the agri-produce, the Minister pointed out that as much as 30 to 40 percent of the total food and vegetables perish due to lack of proper storage, distribution & marketing channels, transportation and other facilities. He said that extensive efforts must be made to save agricultural produce through creating Integrated Value Chains, Food Processing Parks and institutions for maintaining global standards for processed food. He added that the food processing sector is worth US$ 182 billion and therefore such an efforts can generate tremendous employment opportunities for the rural masses along with substantial economic growth.

The Minister complimented ITPO and MFPI and other associates, for promoting the processed food and hospitality sectors through the medium of premier event AAHAR. Expressing his happiness over the participation response from India and overseas at AAHAR 2012 with its theme “ Indian Food Basket- A Seal of Quality”, he pointed out that the fair has a special significance for the economic growth of the country and the enhanced participation reflects the popularity of the event.

Underlining the importance of the food and hospitality sectors in Indian economy and its potential in global market, Shri Rakesh Kacker, Secretary, MFPI who attended the ceremony as ‘Guest of Honour’ remarked that to provide necessary fillip, several schemes are being decentralized for implementation at the State levels. 

In her address, Smt. Rita Menon, CMD, ITPO highlighted the salient features of the fair. She informed that AAHAR 2012 has surpassed all previous records in terms of participation with over 565 exhibitors including 72 foreign exhibitors from 19 countries with Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Poland participating for the first time. She pointed out that the fair covers two concurrent exhibitions –‘Food India’ and ‘Hospitality India’. While acknowledging the continued support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Association Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Associations of Resources Companies for the Hospitality Industry of India (ARCHII), Hotel & Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOTREMAI), All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA) and Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in mounting this show, She hoped that the next edition of Aahar would have bigger participation.

The Vote of Thanks was purposed by Shri Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Executive Director, ITPO. Aahar 2012 (March 12-16) is open to the business visitors from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. while all visitors can visit the fair from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m on March16,2012.