Clive Beddall Bombay India's massive agrifood sector has been urged to put more investment into food processing in a bid to reduce the massive quantities of produce wasted every year. Because of inadequacies in storage, transport and supply chain facilities, India loses massive amounts of its farm produce every year. According to the influential Business India magazine, currently the country wastes as much as 40% of its production of fruit and vegetables, which equals the total consumption of the UK. A SCOPE study commissioned by the continent's industrial research development centre and the World Trade Centre in Madras, has warned the gains of the "green revolution" cannot be sustained indefinitely as agricultural land has been used up and productivity has peaked. Although the centre and state governments have set up separate ministries of food processing, they have not made much impact. The Madras World Trade Centre's director general, VS Gopalakrishnan said: "Food processing is often seasonal and if the monsoon fails, even that vanishes. Applying the same pattern of taxation and excise duties to it as to manufacturing units cripples the industry." However, the largest single bottleneck in expansion is the lack of infrastructure. A strong, dependable and nationwide cold chain, the study indicated, is a must. One executive commented: "Refrigeration is considered as a luxury and taxed in India. For example, 80% of our citrus produce goes to waste." While India is the second largest producer of vegetables and fruit after China, its share of the world trade of processed food is just 2%. One Bombay food sector executive commented to The Grocer: "I've just been to see the food chain in operation in Britain. It was an enlightening experience. "But given our great land mass and one billion population I fail to see how we could emulate the UK in the short term. But at least we must try." {{NEWS }}