NIFTEM can become Harvard of food processing sector: Minister

NIFTEM can become Harvard of food processing sector: Minister

“NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management) 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 for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal in New Delhi today.
Addressing the 6th Annual Meeting of NIFTEM-Industry Forum, 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 (FSSAI) and also both domestic and international companies to rely on for testing of their products.” The Minister added that NIFTEM should become the brand of the healthiest version of the processed food that they have to offer. She added, “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 one in the Ministry premises.
The minister invited suggestions from food processing industry on how to best utilise 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Jagdish Prasad Meena, Secretary of Ministry of Food Processing Industries said, “In four years, the Ministry has been able to bring the sector to the 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 top bureaucrat at the Ministry also said, “The Industry needs to do 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, 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 commodities in cold storages. He highlighted that even specialised multi product cold storages in the country are being used as common cold storage whereas each food commodity requires its own standards of storage.
The 6th 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 and technology collaboration based on innovation by developing new technologies, new product development, refine exciting technological infrastructure which can be commercialised in future for the development of food processing sector. A technical session on Pilot Plants & Operating Term of Reference was chaired by Dr. Chindi Vasudevappa, 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.

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