The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has received commitments worth US$158m from food businesses to further develop its food processing sector.

The agreements were signed at the World Food India Summit in New Delhi and officials hope more than 9,000 jobs will be created as a result.

Andhra Pradesh has ambitions to become the country’s preferred destination for the food processing industry and memorandums of cooperation signed between the state’s AP Food Processing Society and food businesses, including Janani Foods and Keventer Agro, will go some way to help it achieve its aim.

Some 23 firms in all have committed to projects in the region, which include a banana procurement and processing unit.

The agreements were signed in the presence of the state’s chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who said Andhra Pradesh is a “role model” in the food processing area and the developments would be a “new chapter” for the sector.

Andhra Pardesh faces competition, though, as another Indian state – Telengana – also received commitments to invest in its food processing sector at the same summit.

According to its government, companies including Prayagh Nutri Products, Annapurna Agriculture, Bluecraft Agro and Creamline Dairy are among those to have entered into memorandums of understanding with it.