NIFTEM HAS POTENTIAL TO BECOME HARVARD OF FOOD PROCESSING SECTOR: UNION MINISTER SMT HARSIMRAT KAUR BADAL
DEVELOPMENT OF PROTOCOLS FOR STORAGE OF FOOD CROPS IN COLD STORAGES NECESSARY: SECRETARY SH JAGDISH PRASAD MEENA
NewDelhi. “NIFTEM is a one of its kind institute and has the potential to become the Harvard of food processing technology and management sector. A university which despite being nascent, has already been ranked 50th out of 3007 universities in India”, said Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal here today. Addressing the 6th Annual Meeting of NIFTEM-Industry Forum Smt Badal said “Like people world over, Indians are also becoming increasingly aware of healthy food habits. I have asked NIFTEM to explore how it can come up with ‘Brand NIFTEM’ which is healthier,fresher and cheaper.
The Minister added “I foresee a lot of potential for the new facilities created at NIFTEM. The food testing lab should become a nodal lab for Food Safety Standards Authority of India and also both domestic and international companies to rely on for testing of their products.” The Minister added thatNIFTEM should become the brand of the healthiest version of the processed food that they have to offer. She added that the Ministry along with NIFTEM has explored how NIFTEM can open up its incubation centres to new entrepreneurs can try out new things while also providing them a market by opening at least 2 outlets- one at NIFTEM and onein the Ministry premises.
The minister invited suggestions from food processing industry on how to best utilize the facilities at NIFTEM and make them beneficial to all stakeholders. The Minister invited the industry gathering to partner with NIFTEM and evolve as a guide to help the Ministry form policies for the food processing sector.
Secretary of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Sh Jagdish Prasad Meena said that in 4 years the Ministry has been able to bring the sector to forefront not just in the country but also at global level. He highlighted that the ministry receives three to four foreign delegations every month as compared to only a few in a year till a few years ago.
The Secretary also said that the Industry needs to much more and establish itself as creator and not just imitator of foreign products adding that the industry must come out with products that are globally competitive. He added that great attention needs to be paid to research and development(R&D) and quality certifications for this. On that note he invited the industry to integrate itself with the R&D facilities that NIFTEM offers. He said that the Industry needs to pay more attention to quality of its product and proper certification to avoid rejection of exports by foreign countries.
The Secretary also called for development of protocols for storage of food crops in cold storages. He highlighted that even specialized multi product cold storages in the country are being used as common cold storage whereas each food crop requires its own standards of storage.
The 06th meeting of NIFTEM Industry Forum was aimed at strengthening Industry-NIFTEM collaboration. NIFTEM, a premier institution under aegis of Ministry of Food Processing Industries is a sector specific institution to cater to various stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, food processing industry, exporters, policy makers, government and existing institution.
The meeting aimed to identify challenges being faced by the Indian Food Industry, to bridge industrial and academic gap by industry oriented research projects, to promote science & technology collaboration based on innovation by developing new technologies, new product development, refine exciting technological infrastructure which can be commercialized in future for the development of food processing sector. A technical session on Pilot Plants & Operating Term of Reference was chaired by Dr. ChindiVasudevappa, Vice Chancellor, NIFTEM for newly set-up incubation facility at NIFTEM which has four Pilot Plants for Fruit & Vegetables, Meat & Poultry, Milk & Dairy, Ready to Eat & Indian Traditional Food.