TAMIL NADU

Institute to offer degree courses in food processing

HANDS-ON: Students attending the training programme on food preservation and value addition at the Incubation Centre of the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) in Thanjavur on Wednesday.

HANDS-ON: Students attending the training programme on food preservation and value addition at the Incubation Centre of the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) in Thanjavur on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: —Photo: M. Srinath

Special Correspondent

THANJAVUR: There is a demand for 34 lakh qualified personnel in the food processing industry,said Mr. Ajit Kumar, Joint secretary, Union Ministry of Food Processing here on Wednesday.

He told presspersons that because of this gap, productivity and efficiency arelow in the industry. With a view to fill this gap, the mnistry has decided to start courses in food processing and provide both long term and short term training to interested persons.

In this connection, the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) at Thanjavur has proposed to start Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees in food processing from July this year, Mr. Ajit Kumar said.

He inaugurated on Wednesday an incubation centre at the institute that will provide technology support to innovative stake holders. Besides offering under graduate, post graduate and doctoral courses, IICPT at Thanjavur will organise short term training courses in food processing from September this year.

Agri business supply chain management training will be offered to farmers to create awareness about the changes that take place in an agriculture produce till it becomes a processed food. The incubator, inaugurated on Wednesday at IICPT is among the huge ones that will help develop business ideas.

IICPT besides being equipped with buildings, laboratories and incubator, will be given adequate manpower. Thirty two scientists will be appointed soon. This will be followed by the appointment of 20 top ranking scientists like those at the level of Principal scientists, Mr. Ajit Kumar said.

He also said that the ministry has given sanction for establishing 10 mega food parks, 10 cold chains and 10 abattoirs. Modern abattoirs will be established initially in fifty major cities and then at 150 small cities. The ministry is giving a grant of Rs. 50 crore for establishing a food park, Rs. 10 crore for cold chain and Rs. 15 crore for abattoirs.

Research will be carried out in institutes like the IICPT to develop neutraceuticals for old people and special food for children that will improve their health and wean them away from junk food culture. Training will be given to street ‘dhabawalahs’ to improve hygiene in their eateries.

Mr. Ajit Kumar administered the oath to protect earth to scientists at the institute on Wednesday, the World Earth Day.

They pledged to protect, preserve, and develop the natural resources and biodiversity and pass it on to future generations in a sustainable shape. They affirmed to reorient their lifestyles to an environment friendly one. Alagu Sundaram, Director of IICPT was present on the occasion.

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