* Two mega food parks in Meghalaya and Sikkim on the cards
* 75 percent subsidy to entrepreneurs to set up food-based industries in the region
SHILLONG: Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju and Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli attended the Chief Ministers’ Conclave of the North East Food Show 2019 as special guests at the Polo Grounds here on Friday.
The conclave was chaired by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and was attended by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Prema Khandu, Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb and Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Commerce & Industry of Sikkim BS Pant.
Addressing the participants at the conclave, Rijiju said, “Food is an identity of our culture and civilization. Food is identified with people, community and the nation. We have to showcase the Northeast in a proper way by taking along the food of this region.”
The minister said that food and food processing industries in the Northeast have potential to become a big part of economic growth. He also added that the region is environmentally very economically viable as it has surplus water and fertile soil. The minister also emphasized that farmers and entrepreneurs should go for quality production of specialised food products in the northeastern region.
The minister complemented the Meghalaya Government for organizing the food show and providing a platform and opportunity to farmers, industrialists, entrepreneurs to showcase, interact and create market for their products.
Rijiju also urged that in future, all the eight northeastern States may come together to organize mega food shows.
Rameswar Teli also appreciated the zeal of organizers. The minister said that the present Union Government has taken many initiatives to increase the food production, encourage farmers and also to promote food processing industries.
He highlighted that the Union Government has given special emphasis on setting up food processing industries in the Northeast.
He said that the Central Government will provide 75 per cent subsidy to entrepreneurs to set up food based industries in the region. He mentioned that work is going on 42 mega food parks in India and 6 of them are in Northeast India.
Teli also mentioned that initiatives will be taken shortly to set up two more mega food parks in Meghalaya and Sikkim. He also added that the government is planning to set up an IIT- like institute in Guwahati for food related research.
The minister said that there is high demand for food products of northeastern States like bhot jolokiya (King Chili) and black rice and therefore there is huge business potential for the food industries in this region.
Prema Khandu, Biplab Kumar Deb and BS Pant also appreciated the Meghalaya Government for organizing the event and highlighted the initiatives taken by their respective governments for promotion of food industries in their respective States.