The World Food India 2017 (WFI), a three-day extravaganza celebrating the diversity of food and beverage industries internationally, was held in Delhi from 3-5 November. The event itinerary was packed with seminars, discussions and special tasting sessions that took place at the Vigyan Bhawan, with a special street-food exhibition hosted at India Gate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the presence of global business leaders, senior ministers and international diplomats, inaugurated the event on 3 November at Vigyan Bhawan. The PM also released a commemorative postage stamp on Indian food and launched a coffee-table book on the journey of food processing industries, titled A Journey Through the Indian Food Processing Sector.
The Prime Minister spoke of the tremendous potential in India’s food processing sector to double farmers’ income. He highlighted that there are opportunities in the post-harvest management, such as primary processing and storage, preservation infra, cold chain and refrigerated transportation. “There is also immense potential for food processing and value addition in areas such as organic and fortified foods.” he said.
Conceived with an idea of transforming the Indian economy via food, the World Food India 2017 witnessed the signing of 50 MoUs worth $11.25 billion for investment by the private sector, and another $2.5 billion at the state level. Renowned companies like PepsiCo, Coca Cola, ITC and Patanjali, Amazon, Sharaf Group of UAE and YES Bank also committed to investing in the food-processing sector of India.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing industries, said, “We have been successful in generating tremendous interest among global and Indian food companies in investing in this sector. These investments will help us realise government’s goal of doubling farmers’ income as well as generating massive employment in the food processing sector.”
The Great Indian Food Street was curated by Padma Shri awardee and celebrated Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Showcased at the event were examples of the rich Indian culinary heritage in the form of a variety of mouthwatering dishes. The event also celebrated fusion food inspired by examples from all over
In an endeavour to represent Indian street food on the global map, the Food Processing Ministry also highlighted lost recipes from 28 states of India.
“Cuisines in India are very diverse. Many people are not even familiar with the taste of a lot of such cuisines. Therefore, we have showcased here a variety of street food from different parts of India. Apart from that, countries like Japan, Denmark have also come along with their renowned chefs to present their own cuisines here in India.”
Speaking on the variety of cuisines available at the fest, Chef Akshay Nayyar said, “Cuisines in India are very diverse. Many people are not even familiar with the taste of a lot of such cuisines. Therefore, we have showcased here a variety of street food from different parts of India. Apart from that, countries like Japan, Denmark have also come along with their renowned chefs to present their own cuisines here in India.”
The event was a huge crowd-puller as people were seen enjoying snacks like aloo chaat, gol gappas, lal maas, bajre ki khichdi, nariyal paani and much more. On offer was a huge spectrum of tastes, starting from lip-smacking chaat papdi to drool-worthy moong ki daal ka halwa, every dish stood out with the right mix of traditional and contemporary flavours.
To make the event all the more compelling, many cultural performances were also staged here.
About “The Great Indian Food Street”, Chef Kunal Kapoor said, “A lot of Southeastern countries, like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and many more, have street food sector as a major contributor to their national economy. In India, we have a huge variety of street food. I think there is a need for organising street food as a sector first. There should be more awareness about promoting street food. This event is an attempt to give a platform to people so that they can enjoy the street food. This food forum was organised with international participants, and is the first one of its kind to be held in India with this amazing magnitude. It is just a start and I would be very happy to see this thing continuing every year. It’s a proud moment for all of us that we could put up such a beautiful event successfully.”
Minister for Food Processing Industries, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said, “There is no country in the world which can possibly match the culinary potential of India, our legacy and diversity brings together some of the most wonderful gastronomic delights for food enthusiasts all over the world. The Food Street is one such celebration of Food traditions of India, which are more than capable of imbibing beautifully with any world cuisines. I would like to congratulate and compliment Chef Sanjeev Kapoor for envisioning this unique concept and I am excited to see the outcome of this initiative in the coming days.”