'Bring food industry under organised sector'

'Bring food industry under organised sector'

National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Haryana, Vice-Chancellor Chindi Vasudevappa said that the food business in the country must be brought under the organised sector.

The VC was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the eighth International Food Convention (IFCoN-2018), organised with the theme ‘Holistic Approaches for Startup, Food Innovation and Human Resource Training for Agriculture and Food Industry Gemmation (HASH TAG)’, by the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists, India (AFSTI), in association with the Council of Scientists of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), at Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), here on Wednesday.

Vasudevappa said, 60% of the food business in the country is in the unorganised sector and bringing them into the organised sector is important. Food and food science is a rising sector and India is among the few countries which have a ministry for food. Highlighting the health rate of Indians, he said, the country stands in the 80th position as 58% people are anemic. Fortification of public health is needed. He called upon students to conduct research on quality, and affordable and reachable food items. Vasudevappa said, there is a need to create awareness among the people about food as nutritional food items are hardly available in rural regions. He urged FSSAI Chief Executive Officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal to take measures to appoint more food safety officials. There is a need of a portal for the benefit of the people, he added.

In his inaugural address, Agarwal said, FSSAI is making all efforts to transform the country in the food system. Stressing on the ‘Eat to Right’ movement, he said, the movement is built on two broad pillars – Eat Healthy and Eat Safe. It is a collective effort to encourage people towards making right food and diet. He said, the movement received overwhelming response in the last 50 days. The movement will converge on January 26, 2019, at Delhi, he said.

DFRL, Mysuru, Director Anil Dutt Semwal said, agriculture, food scientists and technologists and their scientific knowledge are the major strength for attaining self sufficiency in the field of food production and processing.

As food wastage and post harvest loss amount to crores of rupees, opportunities and challenges remain with the scientists and technologists, to introduce modern technologies in food processing and preservation, to add value to our farm produce, he said. The four-day convention will help in formulating future strategies to address the challenges in food innovation, human resource development and establishment of start-ups for food processing and value addition of agricultural and horticultural commodities, he said.