New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) Food Processing Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras on Tuesday said the startups have an important role in the growth of food processing sector and the government is committed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.

The minister was speaking after inaugurating "SUFALAM: Start-Up Forum for Aspiring Leaders and Mentors Startup Conclave 2024" here, according to an official statement.

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He emphasised "the pivotal role of startups in the food processing sector".

Paras said events like SUFALAM helps in networking and knowledge sharing, besides enabling startups to leverage various government schemes.

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He said "this initiative stands as a testament to the government's steadfast commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and creating an enabling ecosystem for startups, thereby empowering aspiring entrepreneurs in the food processing domain".

Minister of State for Food Processing Shobha Karandlaje talked about key aspects related to the supply chain and the food processing sector.

She emphasised the sector's potential in realising the Prime Minister's vision of doubling farmers' income and positioning India prominently on the global stage in terms of increased exports, innovation, and meeting global food demands.

Food Processing Secretary Anita Praveen highlighted the importance of registering all micro-entrepreneurs, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and MSMEs on the StartUp India Portal.

She elaborated on the vast scope for processing and value addition of agricultural produce.

Furthermore, she spoke on various schemes of the ministry that are aimed at supporting and handholding startups to ensure their success and contribute towards realising the PM's vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

Minhaj Alam, Additional Secretary of food processing ministry, and Dr Harinder Singh Oberoi, Director of NIFTEM-K, were also present on the occasion.

The event saw a participation from over 250 industry stakeholders, startups, MSMEs, financial institutions, venture capitalists, and academia.

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