Institute of Professional Studies
University of Allahabad

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NABL accreditated Food Analysis & Research Laboratory

International Conference - 27th & 28th December, 2012

"Food Processing and Development of Uttar Pradesh:
Preparing a Roadmap; with special reference to Eastern U.P."

The Centre of Food Technology, Institute of Professional Studies, University of Allahabad hosted a two-day international conference titled 'Food Processing and Development of Backward Regions: Preparing a Roadmap with special reference to Eastern UP' on December 27 and 28, 2012.

The conference was sponsored by Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, and organised by Centre of Food Technology, University of Allahabad and American Association of Food Scientists for Indian Subcontinent (AAFSIS).

It was convened by G K Rai, coordinator, Centre of Food Technology and director, Institute of Professional Studies, University of Allahabad.

It aimed at:

Creating a model for development of backward regions through food processing and preparing a roadmap, and Enhancing the scientific, academic and professional interaction of food scientists & technologists related to AAFSIS countries. The conference was an attempt to analyse and understand the constraints and opportunities for development of backward regions with a concrete in-depth study of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, a rich land of poor people.

AAFSIS was represented by its president, Navam Hettiarachchy of the University of Arkansas, USA, and its founder members Sy S H Rizvi, Cornell University; Ramkishan Rao, US Department of Agriculture, Washington; R C (Swamy) Anantheswaran, University of Pennsylvania, and J P Singh, State University of Mississippi.

Prominent among the Indian participants were D K Srivastava, chief policy advisor, ERNST & YOUNG; Gautam Kalloo, former vice-chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture University, Jabalpur, deputy director-general (horticulture), ICAR and first director, Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi; Nagendra Sharma, former vice-chancellor, Jammu Agriculture University and director, National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal; Sushil Kumar, former director, NDRI; B D Sharma, Indian Veterinary Research Institute; R K Gupta, Central Institute of Post Harvest Technology (CIPHET); Charulata Mahanta, Tezpur Central University, Assam, and G K Rai, coordinator, Centre of Food Technology, University of Allahabad. It was convened by Rai.

More than hundred food scientists and technologists from all parts of India participated in the Conference. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries, government of India, was represented by Sanjay Kumar Singh.

The deliberations were divided into the following sessions:

  • Innovations in Food processing and product Development Now and Beyond
  • New Technologies for Development
  • Critical Appraisal of Value Chain in Major Agro-Commodities in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
  • Food Safety & Quality, Functional & Health Foods, Human Resource Development for Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship & Food Trade
  • Post-Harvest, Small-Scale Food Processing Industry, Supply Chain etc.
  • Brainstorming Session: Preparing a Roadmap and Role of Stakeholders

Outcome

The binding constraints on the growth of Eastern Uttar Pradesh are identified to be deficient investment and low levels of private investment and entrepreneurship and critical gaps in infrastructure particularly with respect to power and road connectivity.

A focus on the food processing can make use of its comparative advantages of low requirements of fixed capital, high labour intensity and high value addition to contribute to the inclusive growth of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The key elements of a roadmap for development for Eastern Uttar Pradesh and food processing industry are access to all India and external markets; comprehensive GST with low standard rate; investment in infrastructure: storage and market reach; attracting investible resources, and attracting new technologies.

Eastern Uttar Pradesh

A region like Eastern Uttar Pradesh, characterised by a relatively larger share of agriculture and allied activities, can base its development strategy recognising some of the benefits of these recent developments, namely relatively higher agricultural prices, particularly of high protein items and high value addition and high employment-intensity in food processing, and It can also utilise the sectoral dynamics of trade, transport and storage and communications to get a better linkage and reach between producers and consumers of these products.

The Conference also analysed the status and the future potential of Eastern Uttar Pradesh commodity-wise: fruit and vegetables, milk, meat, fish and cereals, and underscoring the key features of food processing industry in Eastern Uttar Pradesh:

  • Long value added chain from seeds to final consumer
  • Employment intensive requiring both skilled and unskilled labour at different stages
  • Low capital requirements
  • Combination of products
  • Multiple products
  • Long supply chain
  • Requires packaging, transport, warehousing, and retail infrastructure

Recommendations:

The Conference recommended the establishment of cottage and small-scale food processing industry across Eastern Uttar Pradesh to prepare a blueprint of end-to-end solutions for important commodities.

It also recommended that a detailed in-depth report should be prepared by Centre of Food Technology, University of Allahabad, to be placed before Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India and State Planning Commission, Uttar Pradesh.

A series of workshops will be conducted by University of Allahabad for various stakeholders: farmers, processors, industry associations, administrators and policy makers.

The university also announced that a website focussed on food processing and development of backward regions will be launched by the end of January 2013. It will serve as a platform for exchange of ideas, business plans and interaction among the various stakeholders from India and outside.

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