In partnership with the Ready-To-Eat (RTE) food industry ICRISAT will initiate pilot projects involving smallholder farmers, towards understanding the traits required by the food processing industry for facilitating the rapid adoption of ICRISAT mandate crops in the industry. The projects will also help the private RTE entrepreneurs appreciate the untapped opportunities of ICRISAT mandate crops.
With focus on leveraging the growth potential of the RTE food processing sector, the NutriPlus Knowledge Program of the ICRISAT Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP) along with ASSOCOM- India organized the “6th Symposium on Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods: Creating flourishing opportunities and promoting consumption among masses”.
The event provided a platform for stakeholders from various sectors of the food and allied industries to discuss and share latest opportunities for research and development, entrepreneurship and market potential of the RTE foods segment. It also helped them strategize ways to promote affordable, safe and nutritional RTE foods among the masses.
Dr Saikat Datta Mazumdar, Chief Operating Officer (COO), NutriPlus Knowledge Program, urged the RTE food industry to work towards products and technologies based on the health benefits of ICRISAT mandate crops. He also stressed on the need to foster Inclusive Market Oriented Development (IMOD) as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the food processing industries.
“Implementation of an overall food safety program for the masses, through development and promotion of affordable, hygienically packed, long shelf-life, nutritionally rich RTE foods is the need of the hour,” he highlighted.
Other topics of discussion included regulatory aspects, policies, role of RTE foods in nutritional security and food safety.
The event was inaugurated on 4 August in Mumbai, India, by Mr Jagdish Prasad Meena, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India. Well-known RTE manufacturers, retailers and technology providers including MTR Foods, Marico Industries, Future Consumer Enterprise, Buhler, and Clextral took part in this event.