Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar will inaugurate a world-class institution in the food processing sector - called NIFTEM - at Kundli, Haryana, on November 7.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and several central and state ministers will be present at the inaugural function.

NIFTEM or the National Institute of Food Technologyentrepreneurship and Management has been conferred deemed university status. The institute has begun its first academic session this summer. It will confer B. Tech. (Food Technology and Management), M. Tech. and Ph. D. in the area of Food Technology and Management.

One important aspect of its functioning is that it has 'theme centres' on different sectors such as dairying, cereal-based products, animal protein, beverages, confectionery, and fruit and vegetable based foods. There are also themes cutting across these sectors, e.g. management, packaging, food standards and testing.

NIFTEM would work actively in setting food standards, businesses incubation and information sharing.It would be an apex institution in the field of food technology and management and would coordinate its various activities with other institutions in this area. NIFTEM would actively collaborate with the world's best institutions to promote development of path-breaking technologies, which are globally relevant. This will help NIFTEM become an international centre of excellence.

World-class institutions for technology, management and entrepreneurship are a critical requirement for the growth of FPI. Existing R and D institutions have not been able to develop innovative products, processes and machinery of global stature. This is evident from India's poor share in global trade. There is lack of world-class managerial talent and entrepreneurship with adequate technical background in food sciences and technology.

The existing mechanism for setting food standards is also inadequate in the context of the increasing importance of food hygiene and safety and evolution of international standards. Business Incubation services, a critical need to foster entrepreneurship in the food sector, are virtually absent in India.

Further, the industry also faces the challenge of inadequate and outdated information on the industry, such as demand and supply trends in the Indian and overseas markets, regulatory requirements etc.

Without overcoming these shortages and gaps in knowledge, tools and technologies, and talent, the FPI sector in India cannot grow fast and compete with the best in the world. NIFTEM will strive to fill these gaps and help the Indian FPI industry grow to its full potential.

Source: ANI