New Delhi: Slamming the Union government for its failure to encourage the food processing industries in the country, the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Union Agriculture Ministry has observed that the sky-rocketing prices of groceries can be checked by setting up such industrial units.

Owing to the shortage of processing units, fruits and vegetables worth Rs 50,000 crore rot each year. Therefore, the shortage of fruits and vegetables plays an instrumental role in price hike. 

The PSC concluded that opening more manufacturing units of bread, sauce, jam, butter, cheese and pickle would help check the irregular and frequent price rise.

Owing to the negligence of the Centre, export of processed food products from India is a mere 1.5 percent in the international market. The alarming condition of food processing can be gauged by the fact that 35 percent of the crops get wasted before they arrive in the market.

A comparative data showcases that the rate of food processing in India is 2 percent, whereas it is 65 percent in US, 78 percent in Philippines and 23 percent in China. India also lags behind in Poultry processing when compared to other developed countries.

CPM leader Basudeb Acharya, who heads the PSC on Union Agriculture Ministry, expressed grave concern over the deplorable condition of traditional abattoirs and packaging methods in the country.