"With the growth of the food processing sector and emergence of new trends and technology, industry's requirement for specialized skillset has become critical".

  • Food retail is expected to grow well due to low penetration of organized retail and the potential market thereof.
  • India has one of the largest consumer bases in the world with a young population (more open to trying out new food products), increasing income (marking a shift towards premium food products) and more time-starved consumers (leading to an increasing shift towards RTE and packaged foods).
  • Direct support in the form of financial assistance for technology upgrade and setting up/modernization/expansion of food processing industries is being encouraged. 100 percent FDI under the automatic route (except for alcohol, beer, and sectors reserved for small scale industries) is now permitted and this has spurred investment in India.
  • India ranks number one in the production of milk, bananas, guavas, mangoes, buffalo meat and cashew nuts.
  • It ranks second in the world in the production of rice, wheat, groundnuts, onions, peas, and sugarcane. We have a climate that is suitable for year-round supply of agricultural products.
  • India's comparatively cheaper workforce can be effectively utilized to set up large low-cost production bases for domestic and export market.

The food processing industry demands different skill sets on the basis of their relevance to various segments. The basic functional distribution of human resource in the industry is involved in operations stage with 10 percent of the workforce dedicated towards supply chain

  • Several skill gaps exist in various stages of the food processing value chain that need to be addressed. This includes the food processing sector as well as ancillary industries, such as bottling and packaging.
  • The growing quality consciousness by the consumers requires the workforce to be skilled in basic hygiene and sanitary practices. Processing units are also adopting mechanisation and technology. There is a growing need to impart technical skills to more specialist personnel who are capable of working on imported machines in specific sub-segments.
  • Focus also needs to be on the front-end staff for developing customer relationship management skills, which are integral to maintaining healthy relationship with institutional players, such as hotels, restaurants and retailers.
  • Farm procurement is an important area for processing units and need to streamline their raw materials supply for the rising demand. At a farm level, the growers are poorly equipped and lack awareness of implementing the best practices for growing. This is where the need for procurement staff to be proactively engaged in crop/production advisory is missing.

Primarily, training for entry-level resources are undertaken in-house by employers for on the job training model where senior employees are responsible for imparting requisite skills and training them. The varying quality of training does not ensure either standard job role or pay for the trained students. Several food processing players have to invest significantly in training workforce on basic hygiene and sanitation practices, since most of the workers are inadequately educated. There is a need to introduce courses on basic hygiene and sanitation practices; perhaps through some nationally recognised institute. A standardised accreditation system should be in place to certify employees for these basic prequalification before entering this sector. Several employers have established in-house training institutes in the absence of specific courses or training institutes. There is no course for food machinery, such as canning, dehydration and handling frozen foods. This has led to a clear disparity among major players who have the resources to invest in such initiatives and small and medium enterprises with limited resources.

By 2022, the food processing industry is expected to generate about 44.34 lakh new jobs, primarily entry-level and supervisory profiles. Several skill gaps exist in various stages of the food processing value chain that need to be addressed. This includes the food processing sector as well as ancillary industries, such as bottling and packaging. The growing quality consciousness by the consumers requires the workforce to be skilled in basic hygiene and sanitary practices. Processing units are also adopting mechanisation and technology. There is a growing need to impart technical skills to more specialist personnel who are capable of working on imported machines in specific sub-segments. Focus also needs to be on the front-end staff for developing customer relationship management skills, which are integral to maintaining healthy relationship with institutional players, such as hotels, restaurants and retailers. Farm procurement is an important area for processing units and need to streamline their raw materials supply for the rising demand. At a farm level, the growers are poorly equipped and lack awareness of implementing the best practices for growing. This is where the need for procurement staff to be proactively engaged in crop/production advisory is missing.

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Central Food Research Technological Research Institute in Mysore, Karnataka

University of Delhi in New Delhi

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, Maharashtra

University of Calcutta in Kolkata, West Bengal

University of Madras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Jadavpur University in Kolkata, West Bengal

Andhra University in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

University of Bombay in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala

Manipur University in Imphal, Manipur

College of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology (CAEPHT), Gangtok (Sikkim)

SRM University : Department of Food Process Engineering, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh)

Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar

Guru Nanak Dev University : Department of Food Science and Technology, Amritsar (Punjab)

KK Wagh College of Food Technology, Nashik (Maharashtra)

MIT College of Food Technology, Pune (Maharashtra)

Mahatma Gandhi Missions College of Food Technology, Aurangabad (Maharashtra)

School of Chemical, Food and Biotechnology, Midnapore East (West Bengal)

Chaudhary Devi Lal Memorial Government Engineering College, Sirsa (Haryana)

Vaugh School of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, SHIATS, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)

Manav Institute of Technology and Management, Hisar (Haryana)