When around 60% of the total population in our country draws its income either directly or indirectly through the agriculture sector, any serious government cannot but simply emphasize on agricultural growth for the sake of the development of our country. Although, the efforts in the form of the green and white revolutions have made our country agriculturally independent but still due to the miss management and factors such as pest and excessive choice of fertilizers have dilapidated the scenario. In the light of the said facts, it becomes all the more obvious to conclude that food technology and processing sector is going to be a key player in the development of the country and has got very promising prospects in the coming future. This article looks into this sector as a career choice and explores the channels to realize the same.
What is Food Technology?
It refers to that branch of food science which deals with the production of food and the issues such as increasing the shelf life and the nutrient content of the food. With the discovery of processes such as canning and pasteurization, the food production industry could make a quantum leap and especially in this era when food chains and restaurant culture is inevitable, this technology has garnered undeniable presence and consumer acceptance.
What is the academic qualification needed to be attained?
Apart from the customary 10+2 background in science, one has to opt for Food Technology or any allied subject (say, crop processing) as the branch of study. Contrary to the prevalent scenario the in engineering streams, where only the IITs and NITs, offer the finest courses, here, good courses even are offered by the major agricultural universities which together come under the umbrella of what is known as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research or the ICAR which admits the candidates through its prestigious AIEEA-UG (All India Entrance Examination for Admission to undergraduate Program) and AIEEA-PG for its post graduate programs. Following are the finest colleges in our country for the courses at hand:
- National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Sonipat Haryana.( through JEE Mains)
Figure 1 NIFTEM
- Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu (through JEE Mains)
Figure 2 IICPT, Thanjavur
- Banaras Hindu University, B.Sc Agri (15% seatsThrough ICAR-AIEEA-UG rest through separate Exam.)
- Chaudhary Charan Singh, Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, Haryana (15% seatsThrough ICAR-AIEEA-UG rest through separate Exam.)
- Indian Institute of Technology IIT-KGP (JEE Advance)
- National Institute of Dairy Technology, Karnal Haryana (one of the finest in the world) admission solely through ICAR.
It should be especially noted that the candidates selected through the ICAR are eligible for a monthly stipend of Rs. 2000 by the government.
Apart from the above colleges, there are a whole lot of nice universities such as the Central Agricultural Universities and National Institutes of Technologies which also admit the candidates through JEE mains and the ICAR respectively, wherein, one can undertake the requisite studies for this career. Many of these colleges have got very pioneering collaborations with universities abroad which take the candidates for their higher studies on full-time scholarships.
JOB prospects and Remuneration
This sector provides one of the most numbers of seats in the government jobs. Candidates are also recruited by the private industries ranging from the dairies to the fisheries. Recruits work in the capacity of Food Quality Control Officers and go on to raise in position with time. Salary ranges from 50 to 75 thousand monthly in the government jobs to 30 to 50 thousand in the private sectors which increase, subject to seniority and promotion. Ambitious personnel may go on to set up their own agricultural ventures.
Food technology happens to be one of the most promising job careers in both monetary as well as the job satisfaction aspect whose prospects are only to increase in the future. One who is desirous and passionate enough for this career should definitely go for it.