Manipur minister Th Shyamkumar Singh inaugurating the first food testing lab in Imphal

Imphal: The Indian Council of Agriculture (ICAR) on Tuesday launched a food testing laboratory, the first of its kind in the Northeast India, in Imphal, keeping in mind the increasing consciousness towards food safety and quality food analysis.

The newly launched ICAR-NEH Quality Analysis Laboratory at ICAR Research Complex for NEH region, Manipur centre is one of the first joint ventures of ICAR and Manipur government.

This state-of-the-art research cum testing facility is said to be funded by department of horticulture and soil conservation under the scheme ‘Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.’

While speaking at the event as a chief guest, soil and forest conservation minister Th Shyamkumar Singh stressed on the mounting cases of cancer in the state and urged the gathering to do away those lifestyles which kills wellness and health.

During the event, minister Shyamkumar also distributed free cultivating tools and equipment to 10 women farmers of a self help group (SHG).

According to an official report, the newly-launched ICAR food testing lab is expected to become the backbone of the state in particular and Northeast, in general, to ensure that the fresh and processed products are fit for consumption by the consumers and good enough for export purposes.

The facility centre is also expected to play a significant role in proper quality control and mechanism for fresh and processed horticultural produces in entire north-eastern region.

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With the presence of more than 100 different quality parameters, farmers and budding entrepreneurs can test their samples at subsidised rates ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000, it said.

“With the increasing area of organic products in the state, lots of export opportunity has been increased. And when it comes to export, our farmers faced problem to produce the approved quality test analysis report. Now with this facility, their problem can be solved,” said senior scientist Dr S S Roy, who is also an in-charge of the project.

It is also worth mentioning that the facility will not only function for food testing but also equipped for medical testing as well.

“This lab has already been certified with the highest standard of ISO from London, UK. And, we have already applied to Food Safety and Security Authority of India for notifying laboratory as recognised food testing lab in the state,” he added.

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