The Government of Jammu & Kashmir is thinking of developing the infrastructure for Food Engineering & Technology. The government sees a greater scope in the food safety and standards on the post Agriculture technology. The state government has realised that traditional knowledge for agricuture produce is not enough to meet the current standards for food security, preservation, hygiene and safety.
The Islamic University of Science & Technology is running a four year B.Tech Course in Food Technology for about seven years in order to bring professional approch for the latest food safety trends. Most of the students who were graduated from this institution are now doing M.Tech and Ph.D and the scenario would create opportunities for prospective entrepreneurial and development sector for the betterment of food & related businesses.
Food Engineering & Technology is a multidisciplinary field of applied physical sciences which combines, science, microbiolgy & engineering education for food and allied industries. The food engineering technologists are in great demand as they are being hired by the companies involved in food processing, food machinery, packaging & Labelling, firms involved in healthcare business like pharma & biotechnology sector, government agencies etc. The food technology is being seen as sovereign and is not mixed with Agriculture science.
The government has plans to set up food research laboratories in the state of J&K to monitor the quality of food products being used in government institutions, industries, among traders and in public. Currently, there is no food research lab available in the valley and testing is being done outside the state. The students of the state have to move outside their home state for analysis in the research laboratories. The food entreprenuers spend lot of time and money in getting their products tested from laboratories located beyond their state. The government is upbeat about their idea of opening many units of laboratories throughout the state so as to create more employment opportunities and upliftment of social standards.
In order to successfully follow and implement the food safety norms, to check & control the sub-standard food, to stop adultration and to check the supply of spurious drugs, the J&K government has to first adopt and incorportate the regulations under FSSAI.
Experts have suggested that the food technology should be introduced from the ground level like at Industrial Training Institutes as these would best serve as the places of technical knowledge and experience. These learning and study centres should also be handled by the food technology and engineering experts.