World Food India 2017, the vibrant three day mega event came to a very successful finale on November 5th, 2017. The global event, a large colourful space, showcased the diverse and delectable cuisine of India, with the aim of establishing global linkages and presenting abundant opportunities that India’s Food Processing Sector holds for the world.
Organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as the National Event Partner, WFI was held in the capital city’s prestigious Vigyan Bhavan and the India Gate Lawns from 3-5 November. It brought together the Government, investors, manufacturers, producers, food processors, policy makers and organizations from across the globe. And of course, a huge crowd of food aficionados!
The event was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister highlighted the diverse strengths of Indian agriculture including the second largest arable land area, 127 diverse agro-climatic zones, and a horticultural sector that had shown an average growth rate of 5.5 % annually over the last 10 years.
The Prime Minister emphasised the need for understanding Indian food habits and taste, a key to become successful in the market and the need for taking up products that would raise the nutrition potential of the country. He concluded by saying that he was confident that World Food India would provide valuable insights into the nation’s culinary and ancient food habits.
Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing Industries, was the brain behind the event and conceptualized its grand scale and outreach to global investors. At the inaugural attended by a galaxy of Heads of State, ministers, and senior officials from many countries, she warmly welcomed delegates and stated that it was a historic day for the Indian Food Processing Sector.
President of the Republic of Armenia HE Mr. Serzh Sargysyan and Prime Minister of Latvia HE Mr. Maris Kucinskis were the honoured guests at the inaugural. CEOs of top companies such as Nestle, Unilever, Metro Cash and Carry, and Trent, along with dignitaries from the partner (Denmark, Germany and Japan) and focus countries (Italy and Netherlands) also participated.
The Prime Minister launched the investor portal Nivesh Bandhu, a comprehensive digital platform providing all information on agriculture and food processing in India’s districts for investors.
The Prime Minister also released several publications by the Indian Food Ministry and Commemorative Stamps on Indian cuisines. After his inaugural address, Prime Minister Modi visited the Food Exhibition and Food Street, spread across the sprawling India Gate lawns.
Following the inaugural, people thronged to the vibrant “Food Street”, a unique and first of its kind concept, which showcased Indian and foreign cuisine using local ingredients, flavours and fragrances, specially curated by renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The exclusive gastronomic experience offered delectable Indian food from all corners of the country and presented the unique diversity of Indian food and flavours to the world.
From traditional flavours to modern fusion, Food Street went much beyond food. It was a unique opportunity for Indian as well as international companies to engage in new joint ventures and new product development. A gathering of business and culture, Food Street was brought to life through live kitchen shows, chef talks, demonstrations as well as food tasting by the guests, ambassadors and delegates present at the event.
The event witnessed the setting of a world record for cooking the largest amount of Khichdi – the largest serving of rice and beans, by any country ever! Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, with a team of 50 people and the NGO Akshaya Patra, prepared a massive 918 kilograms of Khichdi, with which India entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
The khichdi was prepared in a specially crafted giant wok, weighing around 1200 kg. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev as well as Food Processing Minister Smt Harsimrat Badal also joined hands to prepare the khichdi. The khichdi was prepared overnight and was distributed to over 10,000 children associated with Akshaya Patra and the Delhi Langar Society.
Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India, graced the closing ceremony of the event and congratulated Smt. Harsimrat Badal for the “resounding and truly historic success” of the event. The Hon’ble President also highlighted the numerous opportunities that the Indian food value chain has to offer, especially for Indian women.
To harness the skills of young Indians and to give an impetus to the start-up eco-system, World Food India 2017 introduced the World Food India Start-up awards and Hackathon challenge, for encouraging of innovative solutions and break-through ideas by young Indians. All the winners of the awards were felicitated by President Ram Nath Kovind at the valedictory session.
Smt Badal, while highlighting the immense potential of the Indian food processing sector stated that “collectively, we have managed to put India on the map of the world where the future is going to be, making India the global food factory”, at the closing ceremony.
She further added that 50 MOUs were signed during the event amounting to US$ 11.25 billion and this would reach US $18.84 billion, with the Ministry’s funds added put together.
Describing World Food India as an exemplary model of partnerships between the central and state governments, global and domestic companies, Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President Designate, CII, expressed his belief in the Food Processing Sector as playing a major role in doubling of farmers’ income and reducing wastage. “Let us all come together to bring healthy, nutritious and quality food from India for consumers across the globe”, he added, while concluding the ceremony.
World Food India truly took India’s culinary strengths to the world!