Guwahati, May 09: “I strongly believe that North Eastern region could emerge as a major centre for food processing and can command a high place both in domestic and international markets,” said Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi while inaugurating the three-day North East Farm and Food Tech-2018 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Maniram Dewan Trade Center in the city today.
Speaking at the inaugural function, the Governor said that both the Central and the State Governments are making synergistic efforts to promote startup companies and develop entrepreneurship in the north east. “I also feel happy to share with you that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept North East at the heart of country’s Act East Policy and vowed to increase people to people contact, trade and other relations with ASEAN countries. In the backdrop of the initiatives like Act East Policy, Make in India, Skill development, MSME access to finance through Mudra bank etc., creation of North East Food Park, Bamboo Park etc. Assam and other North Eastern states have geared up to become commercial centres in various sectors more particularly in agri-horti sector”, the Governor professed.
Prof. Mukhi also said that the availability of agri and horticultural resources and their organic cultivation in the North East have created a huge export potential both in fresh and processed form. Moreover, an organized system of certification, production and marketing with better post-harvest technology, supply chain management, branding, the region can become a nerve centre of an organic hub in accordance with the plan and policies of the present Government at the Centre as well in the state.
Prof. Mukhi also outlined some of the major drawbacks for the food processing industries of the North East which lies in lack of supply chain, storage facilities, packaging, limited use of latest technologies, market linkage etc. and advocated for taking remedial steps to remove these shortcomings.
He urged the industry bodies to work as a catalyst with the State Governments and Central Government for developing the Food Processing Sector in North East as this sector has a huge potential to drive the economy of the region.
Present at the inaugural function Minister of Industries and Commerce Chandra Mohan Patowary while speaking said that given the tremendous availability of natural resources coupled with attractive tax incentives North East India today can become an attractive destination for investment. The North Eastern region in the future can play an important role in scripting India’s growth story through proper utilization of resources. With the recent announcement of NEIDS for the North Eastern region, the future of this sector is very bright. He also added that the State government is taking a number of initiatives to promote the food processing sector in the state. He also said that State government is coming up for setting up primary Producing Centres (PPCs) in Assam. The inaugural function was attended by Member, North East Council C.K. Das, Head-Quality assurance ITC Chittaranjan Dar, Co Chairman CII North East Council Abhijit Barooah along with a host of other dignitaries.