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Food processing sector requires appropriate skilling; Says Experts

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

  Scarcity of skilled workers is the basic challenge faced by food processing sector in the country. Technology, foreign direct investment, services and retail sectors will facilitate to maintain an average level of economic growth and employment opportunities in the country. Processing at the current level of 10 percent to 30 percent can increase the GDP by five fold. Says Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan, Education & Career consultant and Director UL Education. He made this statement while delivering the keynote address in the industry academia interface session as part of the two-day national seminar on food adequacy and climate change held at Pattikkad, Thrissur on 4th November 2017. Meat Technology Unit of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and Association of Meat Scientists and Technologists (AMST), in collaboration with Indian Dairy Association (IDA) and Association of Food Scientists and Technologists, India (AFSTi) organized the two-day national seminar on ‘Food Adequacy and Climate Change: Strategies for Sustainable Food Production’ from 3rd to 4th November, 2017 at Hotel Dream City, Pattikkad, Thrissur.

Dr.J. Radhakrishnan IAS, Health Secretary, Govt of Tamil Nadu inaugurated the National Seminar on 3rd November 2017 and highlighted the importance public health in the country. Connectivity driven sectors, food processing, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, banking & finance, cloud services, analytics, management and innovation driven sectors will facilitate spectacular growth in the country. Basic challenges include Can we link India’s potential to the World’s requirements? Can we link Indian traditions with future of mankind? and Can we connect India’s farmers with markets around the World? Combining traditional food industries with modern technology, processing and packaging can facilitate to get the health benefits and to provide refreshing taste of Indian food ingredients. Food processing is a labour intensive sector which can generate more than five lakh employment opportunities by 2022. Sethumadhavan added.
Dr.J.Abraham, Former Director, Meat Technology Unit of Kerala Agricultural University presided over the function and Dr,.B.Sunil, Professor, Meat Technology Unit of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University presented the recommendations during the valedictory function. Marketing of functional, novel and ethnic foods is on the rise and hence, the safety aspect is also an area of concern. Scope and innovations in nutraceuticals for developing high value noble foods and dietary supplements from marine sources including aquaceuticals also require intensive research and development. One health approach is to be popularised to address emerging and re-emerging diseases. The climatic vagaries are creating momentous influence on animal agriculture and meat production globally. The sessions stressed the need for breeding and production practices that are climate resilient and sustainable. Appropriate skill development programmes are require to reduce the huge gap between available and required skills in food processing sector.

 

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