Graduates of engineering and biosciences can now do a one-year postgraduate course in Postharvest Technology that will get them a certification of a foreign university.
Students will start the course at Vanavarayar Institute of Agriculture (VIA), Pollachi, and after three months will proceed to Writtle College in the United Kingdom to complete the rest of the course. They will get to write the examination there. On successful completion of the course they will be issued a certificate of the University of Essex.
VIA and Writtle College (a partner institution of the University of Essex), the United Kingdom, entered into a memorandum of understanding to promote friendship and co-operation between both the institutions. The course is the first joint venture of the signatories.
Shankar Vanavarayar, correspondent of NIA Educational Institutions, said the co-operation would start with the course and move on to joint research programmes on banana, tomato and mangoes.
The first course would begin in August 2012.
There is no age limit for applying for the course.
Chris Bishop, Reader, Post-Harvest Technology, Writtle College, said the course was of significance considered in the light of ensuring food security and reducing food losses.
The food processing sector in India had wide opportunities because of the varieties of crops that could be processed, contract farming, investments in infrastructure through public-private partnerships, and so on.
Mr. Vanavarayar said post-harvest technology would become a basic necessity to feed the millions of Indians and hence should not be viewed as applicable for supermarkets alone.
Research on banana, tomato and mango would strive to bring common factors in both the countries together on different levels.