First biotech incubator of North operational

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Mohali, Oct 3 (UNI) The first biotechnology incubator of north India to provide world class state-of-the-art testing and certification facilities to the agro processing sector became operational here today.

Punjab Minister for Science, Technology and Environment Bikram Singh Majithia inaugurated the Punjab Biotechnology Incubator (PBTI) setup by the state government jointly with the Department of Biotechnology of the Union Government at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

Speaking after inaugurating the facility, Mr Majithia said that it was first of its kind comprehensive quality testing and certification setup under one roof that would benefit agro based sectors. He said that the sectors that would benefit from the incubator include dairy, fresh/processed fruits and vegetables, bakery and confectionary, cereal grains, honey, fertilizers, animal feeds and feeding stuffs, soil, water and waste water and other allied sectors.

He said that entrepreneurs and farmers from Northern India in general and Punjab in particular would now be able to draw benefits from PBTI's facilities.

Mr Majithia said India was the largest producer of milk and third largest producer of food grains in the world and Punjab's contribution in it was very large and significant. He said PBTI's facilities would be instrumental in post harvest processing of the agri-produce for the value addition and capturing the global market.

He said by using the facilities of PBTI the country would be able to ensure that quality products make it to the international market.

On this occasion Dr S S Marwaha, Chief Executive Officer of PBTI informed that the laboratoriesa at the facility were fully equipped with latest hi-end equipment for the analysis of pesticide residues, heavy metals, mycotoxins, minerals, vitamins and microbial pathogens. He said PBTI was ready to take up the work of detection of viruses in the germ plasm especially, the potato seed and citrus plant nursery.

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