ITANAGAR, Sept 3 - Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli has asked the Arunachal Pradesh Government to set up a mega food park early.
“Of the Rs 140 crore allocated for the North East, we still have Rs 110 crore as unspent money. Therefore, the States of the region need to accelerate development of mega food parks and mini food parks as envisaged and proposed,” stated Teli while speaking at a workshop on the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) at the State Banquet Hall here today.
While noting that food processing as an industry has immense potential in the region that has not been explored to its optimum level yet, the Union minister assured that his ministry would make all efforts to make it a game changer in the region.
Citing the rich potential of Arunachal Pradesh in this sector, Teli called for creation of a Food Processing Department to exclusively deal with the subject and offered full cooperation of his ministry.
He said the region with its vast resources and biodiversity produces ample exotic fruits and vegetables, which can be made economically viable through the food processing industry.
To give a fillip to the sector, Teli said that his ministry is planning to establish a Food Technology Institute in Assam so that youths of the region can qualify as food technology professionals.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu stated that all decks have been cleared for establishment of the mega food park near the State capital and the State Government would provide all basic facilities like water and power supply as required under the scheme.
Underscoring the State’s potential in agri-horticultural produce like kiwi, orange, apple, pineapple, banana, tea, etc., Khandu said if food processing is taken up extensively, it could change the economy of the farming community.
Khandu stated that the State Government has already prepared a road map to boost the agri-horticultural sector based on which schemes are being formulated and launched phase-wise. “We have set a target to benefit at least 90,000 farmers in the State by 2022,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Industries Minister Tumke Bagra also spoke on the occasion.