As a novel initiative and a step towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) opened India’s first food museum in the Tamil Nadu capital last week, on November 15th. It was set up to digitally depict the food grain production scenario in the country and around the world to highlight the challenges related to food storage.
FCI founded the museum in collaboration with the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM), Bengaluru. It was set up at a cost of nearly 1.1 crores. The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution System Piyush Goyal inaugurated the museum via video conference and was accompanied to the virtual ceremony by FCI Chairman and Managing Director Atish Chandra. Jagran reported.
Goyal said measures would be taken to move the country up from what is currently the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world.
The Food Security Museum shows the country’s agricultural revolution from becoming dependent on self-sufficiency. “Compatriots used to import wheat, but today India is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products,” the minister said at the inauguration ceremony.
The world now sees the country as a trustworthy partner, he said, adding: “We will continue to work towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat. In this mission, the central government is working to create the image of strong and independent farmers.”
Why is the Food Museum in Thanjavur established?
The location for the country’s first food museum was set as Thanjavur, taking into account the historical significance of the place. In a way, it is the birthplace of the FCI as their first office was inaugurated here on January 14, 1965. The museum was developed on the grounds of the FCI division office in Nirmala Nagar. After 56 years, the museum is currently being set up to commemorate the role the FCI has played in ensuring food security in the country.
What is the museum about?
The FCI Food Museum in Thanjavur shows various themes and the development of agricultural food practices in the country. The main topics and points of the FCI Food Museum include:
History of the collectors: The museum shows the evolution of agricultural systems for mankind from the time of nomadic hunter-gatherers to sedentary agricultural producers and farmers that led to the dawn of civilizations.
Food storage: The place also displays various types of food storage methods that have been developed and used throughout the year both in India and around the world. It also shows the scenario of food grain production across the country and around the world and the roadblocks in storage as part of the exhibition in the museum.
Distribution on the last mile: Another critical aspect presented in the Food Museum is the food grain’s journey from the farm to the consumer’s plate and the role that the FCI plays in this.
Operation of the FCI: Through the digital presentation, the food museum also shows a wide variety of technological features used by FCI to streamline agricultural production and distribution network. It shows various technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID), projection mapping, proximity, touchscreen kiosk and touch sensors and virtual reality systems.
The museum seeks to break this down precisely by showcasing the history of agriculture and grain through various exhibits that combine technology with 3D models, storytelling, and actual samples of seeds and grains from across the country.
There is a separate section that provides details on the origins and domestication of various crops to make it clear that what we consume is part of a worldwide system. A projection map also helps track the history of agriculture and how people around the world store grain, while another section is devoted to the pests that could destroy crops both in the field and in storage.
A VR exhibit and panels trace the history of the FCI and the path from famine to food security with the help of traditional and modern food storage systems. A large diorama traces the entire journey of the rice field from seed to plate. Finally, there is an interactive quiz for those visitors who want to test their newly acquired knowledge.
Providing a glimpse of where our staple foods come from and what we eat as a country, the museum is an exciting addition to the list of large and small museums in the country.
Also read: Delhi has over 7,000 dengue infections this year, 5,600 cases in November alone