PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
VISITORS THRONG FOOD INDUSTRY AND CRAFT MELA AT PAU
LUDHIANA, OCTOBER 30:
Visitors from Ludhiana and other parts of the state thronged the Food Industry and Craft Mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The Department of Processing and Food Engineering, PAU, had organized the mela under the aegis of Directorate of Extension Education. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, and Mr Ibrahim H. Hadejia, Deputy Governor, Jigawa State, Nigeria, inaugurated the mela, where a total of 118 stalls, exhibiting homemade food products, branded food items, designer apparels and jewelry, cosmetics and decoration items, were put up by various departments of PAU, self-help groups and food industry. Competitions and games were the major attraction of the mela.
In his inaugural address, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, who was the chief guest, said, “The mela is a big boost to the food processing sector. It provides an opportunity to the budding entrepreneurs as well as farmers to display and sell their products for higher returns.” The mela will go a long way in connecting producer-consumer, he added, while speaking of the facilities at Food Industry Business Incubation Centre of PAU.
Leading the four-member Nigerian delegation, Mr Hadejia, who was the guest of honour, highly appreciated the mela and the strong linkage among PAU, farmers and the industry.
Dr J.S. Mahal, Director of Extension Education and Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, stated, “Food processing is an important aspect of agriculture. We are facing glut of many crops; processing is the best way to utilize the produce and tackle the glut situation.” The mela is also a platform for the students to interact with the industry for internship, trainings and career opportunities, he added.
Dr Mahesh Kumar, Head, Department of Processing and Food Engineering, said the mela provides a pedestal to the small, medium and large scale industries to display and promote their products. The mela received an overwhelming response from the visitors, he added. Items such as chocolates, cakes, breads, muffins, pickles, chutneys, honey, fruit juices, beverages, designer apparels, bed sheets, cushions, wallets, jewelry etc. were highly sought after, he informed.
Later, Mrs Rajni Bector, Founder of Mrs Bector Foods Pvt. Ltd (Cremica), was the chief guest at the prize distribution function. She hailed the large scale participation of self-help groups/food industry/farmers/farm women in the mela.
The mela was supported and facilitated by Cremica (Platinum sponsors); AP Organic Pvt. Ltd.; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Punjab; Coca-Cola, Ludhiana; Adani Agri Logistics; Elixir Technologies, Bangalore; United Phosphorus Ltd.; Verka Milk Plant, Ludhiana; and Jay Instruments, Mumbai.