Bringing the prominent food and hospitality brands from India and the rest of the world together on one platform, the 2019 essay of Aahar, the premier annual event of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) commenced at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, on Tuesday. The five-day event concludes on March 16.

This year, about 560 participants are taking part in the trade fair, despite the limited space available due to the reconstruction work that is underway at the venue.

This year’s fair is spread across six halls (7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12) and some open space. A wide range of food products, food and beverage machinery, hospitality and décor solutions and confectionery items have been put on display.

The specialised B2B (business-to-business) event holds significance in the wake of the recently-released agri export policy.

The display profile is segregated into four categories, namely food products, ingredients, food and beverage equipment, housekeeping, confectionery and engineering works.

Hema Maiti, general manager, ITPO-Aahar, said, “This year, a large number of business visitors is expected to visit the fair, including those at the top echelons of the hotel and hospitality industry, chief executive officers, general managers, executive chefs, etc.”

The event was jointly inaugurated by Paban K Borthakur, chairman and managing director, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA), and Deepak Kumar, executive director, ITPO, in Hall 7, Pragati Maidan.

V K Macker, president, FHSAI (Food and Hospitality Support Association of India); Rajendra Mittal, senior representative, ARCHII (Association of Resource Companies for the Hospitality Industry of India), Maity, senior government officials, participants from India and abroad, delegates and media representatives were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Kumar highlighted that despite a huge space demand for  participation, the fair could not be organised on a large scale due to space constraints (only 22 per cent of the space was available), as the event is taking place when ITPO is in the midst of implementing its ambitious project of redeveloping Pragati Maidan into a world-class international exhibition-cum-convention centre (IECC).

Expressing happiness over the considerable participation of foreign countries, he added that the fair had elicited participation from countries, including China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the USA, the UK, Ukraine and the UAE.

Borthakur pointed out that APEDA participated with over 60 exporters under the AAHAR banner with an objective to enhance India’s global export of food items. Complimenting ITPO for continuing the legacy of the event despite the IECC project, he was confident  that the next edition of AAHAR would be hosted with a larger participation response after  the completion of the project.

The fair has been organised with support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), APEDA and apex industry associations, ARCHII, the Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOTREMAI), All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA), FHSAI, the Federation of Indian Food and Hospitality Industry (FIFHI) and the Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI).