Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, inaugurated the Food Processing Laboratory at the School of Agriculture at IGNOU Campus, Delhi.
The Lab will act as a Study Centre for its on-going programmes for providing hands on experience and skill development in the area of food processing.
The Lab will also be used for offering short term training programmes for ensuring safe and quality food for the consumers.
The Minister in her address at the inauguration stressed the need to enhance the growth of the food processing industry in India.
She highlighted that today only 10% of the food produced in India gets processed and an increase in food processing capacity could help in minimising wastage considerably saving crores of rupees thus benefiting everyone ranging from farmers to consumers.
She also emphasized on the need of building capacity in terms of trained and skilled manpower.
Complimenting IGNOU she said that the Food Processing Laboratory with testing facility would help in trained manpower for the industry which could also be an employment generator especially for women.
She extended continued support of the Ministry in IGNOU's effort to further widen its programs in food processing.
Ravindra Kumar, VC, IGNOU while giving his presidential address at the occasion thanked the ministry for providing financial assistance to the university in setting up of the lab.
He assured the minister that IGNOU would work as a partner in any scheme of the ministry for capacity building activities and utilized the resources in a cost effective manner.
The focus of the activities would be for skill and entrepreneurial development in the food processing sector. He hoped that the Food Processing Laboratory at the main campus would work as a model for other regional centers as well where IGNOU has the infrastructure replicating such labs for benefit of students especially from marginal section of the society.
Kumar also remarked on food processing industry becoming the job creator for the economy which has tremendous scope for growth.
IGNOU would offer 9 programs in total including diplomas, PG Diplomas, certificate course and PhD programs, said Salooja, Director, School of Agriculture at the inauguration function.
He further said that there is a one & a half month non-credit “Awareness Programme on Value Added Products from Fruits and Vegetables” through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode already being run by the university, the programme was developed with the support of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. “The laboratory is equipped with the facilities for processing and packaging of dairy, fruits and vegetables, bakery, meat and fish products and also the basic facilities for chemical, physical and microbiological testing of food" informed MK Salooja of School of Agriculture, IGNOU.
The Laboratory has become the active Programme Study Centres of its Food Processing Programmes.
The Lab has been set up with the financial assistance of Ministry of Food Processing Industries GoI.
Dr. Jitendra Srivastava, Registrar, IGNOU proposed the vote of thanks. He thanked the minster for having spared time for the inauguration and sharing her thoughts. He also thanked Prof. Ravindra Kumar, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU and Prof Salooja, Director, School of Agriculture, IGNOU.
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