‘Huge scope for skill development in food industry’

October 29, 2017 06:55 pm | Updated 06:55 pm IST - Thrissur

Food processing sector will witness spectacular growth in the coming years with the steady inflow of investments, says Dr. T.P. Sethumadhavan, Education & Career Consultant, who recently attended World Skills Abudabi 2017.

“Huge prospects are emerging in the ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook segments in India. Availability of skilled manpower has been identified as one of the major challenges, which creates a lot of opportunities for unemployed youth to work as skilled manpower in the food processing sector, ” Dr. Sethumadhavan said.

He noted that there has been an increase of 40% of Foreign Direct Investment in the food processing sector during 2016-17. Of the total agriculture products only 10% is processed in India leading to wastage of agriculture products and middle men cheating and farmer’s distress. At a time agriculture is moving towards agribusiness, sustainability of the sector depends on diversification towards food processing sector.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries is working in close collaboration with Food Industry Capacity and Skill Initiative (FICSI), the Sector Skill Council (SSC) in food processing. The FICSI is working on identification of job roles and competencies required for each job so as to develop National Occupational Standards for different sectors of food processing.

It is forecast that India’s retail sector will show a growth of $1.3 trillion growth from $600 billion over the next three years; of which 70% will be from food market. Ministry of Food processing is planning to create employment opportunity of around five lakh by 2022 with the investment under Sampada Yojana programme.

Scarcity of food technologists, scientists and researchers with Entrepreneurship background exists in the country, Dr. Sethumadhavan said.

There lies a huge gap between available and required skill in the country. Capacity building will create talent pool. Innovation needs to be linked to market need. Academic and research institutions need to develop technologies, which can be scaled up across the world. Industry interface is required for scaling up the technologies, promoting entrepreneurship and skill development in food processing sector in the country, he added.

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