GUWAHATI, May 9 - “The north-eastern region, I strongly believe, could emerge as a major centre for food processing and command a high place both in the domestic and international markets,” Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi said while inaugurating the three-day North East Farm and Food Tech-2018 organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry at the Maniram Dewan Trade Centre here today.
Speaking at the inaugural function, the Governor said both the Central and the State governments were making synergistic efforts to promote startups and develop entrepreneurship in the North-east.
“I also feel happy to share with you that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept the 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 members. In the backdrop of the initiatives like Act East Policy, Make in India, Skill development, MSME access to finance through the MUDRA Scheme, creation of North East Food Park, Bamboo Park, etc, Assam and other NE states have geared up to become commercial centres in various sectors, especially the agri-horti sector,” he said.
Prof Mukhi said that the availability of agri-horticultural resources and their organic cultivation in NE have created a huge export potential. Moreover, an organized system of certification, production and marketing with better post-harvest technology, supply chain management and branding, NE can become the nerve-centre of an organic hub in accordance with the plan and policies of the present governments at the Centre and in the State, he added.
Prof Mukhi outlined some major drawbacks for the food processing industries of the region, like lack of supply chain, storage facilities, packaging, limited use of latest technologies, market linkage, etc, and advocated taking remedial steps to remove these shortcomings.
He congratulated CII for organizing this event here and urged industry bodies to work as a catalyst with the governments for developing the food processing sector in the region.
Minister of Industries and Commerce Chandra Mohan Patowary in his speech said that given the tremendous availability of natural resources and attractive tax incentives, the region can become an attractive destination for investment.