Thursday, March 8, 2012


Glorious pictures about the achievements of Ministry of Food processing Industry are "painted and planted" among friendly media persons for country wide "splashing" and thereby get a good image in the minds of people about this highly bureaucratic set up at Delhi. Imagine what embarrassment it can cause to the Babus in MFPI when its own consultative committee has nothing but ridicule for the claims made by it every year at the budget time. Most heinous crime being perpetuated by MFPI is that in spite of its existence for almost two decades it did very little to create a reliable data base about the food industry and its figures are at best guesstimates based on heresay and unreliable sources. GOI must consider evaluation of the impact of MFPI on the performance and growth of the food industry by a blue ribbon committee of experts knowledgeable about all aspects of food processing and if its working in the past 22 years has been not satisfactory, it should have the courage to wind it up unceremoniously with no remorse! Here is a take on this issue.

"To which the committee reacted: "The committee cannot but, consider these achievements of the ministry with a pinch of salt, as their estimation is based merely on 'regular discussions' with stakeholders. Arriving at conclusions on such important matters on the basis of mere discussions throws a lot of light on the sanctity of the data flaunted in support and speaks volumes on the manner of working of the ministry in charge of the 'sunshine' sector of the Indian economy. The glaring absence of an information system for compiling data and indices pertaining to the food processing industry sector in the country, in spite of the ministry being in existence for two decades now, also reflects poorly on the planning and management capabilities of the ministry." Apart from lack of data, proper mechanism for systematic planning, and delay in execution have also been the concerns of the ministry."  

Of course many people unconnected with the food industry are benefited from the pedestrian existence of MFPI and these people are bound to protest. Even some industry players, cozy with the Babus in the MFPI may resist any attempt to close the ministry because of their vested interests. The still-born NIFTEM, touted to be a world class food technology institute is a classical example of the wrong priorities of MFPI and on top of this an undistinguished R & D set up in Tamil Nadu is being propped up as a high tech organization to solve all the problems of the industry. It is another thing that neither the food industry nor the food scientific community has any high opinion about the caliber of these organizations to deliver the required services to the proposed users.


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