MOFPI declares the year 2008-09 as Food Safety and Quality year

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New Delhi, Jun 11 (UNI) Minister of Food Processing Industries (Independent Charge) Subodh Kant Sahai today said the year 2008-09 will be the watershed one for Food Safety and Quality in India with new initiatives being taken by his Ministry which would be integrated with the schemes and programmes already operationalised.

Mr Sahai said this while speaking on the launch ceremony of ''Food Safety and Quality Year 2008-09'' here today.

The programme will partner with various stakeholders, such as Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Health, and Department of Consumer Affairs, association -- both industries and consumers, academic institutions etc.

He further said, Food Safety is a growing concern across the world. There is increasing need to provide greater assurance about the safety and quality of food to consumers. India's potential to garner a higher share in world food trade also led to increasing recognition and adoption of food safety measures.

Mr Sahai also said the Eleventh Plan allocation for the Ministry has been increased by about six times, from Rs 650 crore in the Tenth Plan to Rs 4031 crore in the current plan.

The Ministry has restructured and identified thrust areas for strategic interventions in the 11th Plan. This has primarily been Establishment of mega food parks; creation of integrated cold chain infrastructure at different levels, including farm level primary processing center-cum-cold chain; establishmen of collection/aggregation Centers, and strategic distribution centers; Capacity building by setting up National Institute of Technology, entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM)and stablishment/upgradation of quality control laboratories.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries will carry out a year long campaign to reach out to all the stakeholders and consumers on food safety and quality initiatives.

UNI BBS PDT GC1544

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