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Ladakh bets big on food processing industries

Ladakh administration will carry out a value chain mapping for food processing industry in Ladakh and to recommend strategies for integrating local population into food processing and agriculture activities

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In order to carry out a value chain mapping for food processing industry in Ladakh and to recommend strategies for integrating local population into food processing and agriculture activities and to maximise the potential of the sector, Department of Industries & Commerce, Ladakh in partnership with the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Invest India, the national investment promotion and facilitation agency organised a summit, “Building Partnerships for Inclusive Growth in Food Processing Sector” in Leh on Friday.

The summit was attended by food producers of Ladakh specially, apricots, barley, sea buckthorn, organic vegetables, peas, apples, milk and meat both from Leh and Kargil district. Apart from officers from MoFPI, technology experts from National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), banks working in Ladakh, and also buyers from the army participated in the summit.

During the inauguration, Saugat Biswas, Industries & Commerce Commissioner,  Ladakh said, “Administration of UT Ladakh is making efforts to give a fillip to the food processing industry in Ladakh. Food production added with value will reap maximum benefit for the local growers.” He mentioned about the vision of the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh to promote local population by providing the platform to boost their interest and talent through expert guidance from Government of India and supporting agencies.

Though almost 60 producers from Kargil district participated through video conference, a separate workshop would be organised specific to Kargil in the coming months Biswas informed.

Addressing the summit, Reema Prakash, Joint Secretary, MoFPI explained about the role of the ministry in ensuring value addition of produces through food processing schemes and programmes. She said that the Ministry was focusing on promoting food processing in UT of Ladakh for both Leh and Kargil. She informed about the prepared Ladakh Action Plan for Food Processing Industries in consultation with the local stakeholders and stressed on endeavours to ensure actionable steps at ground level. She expressed her hope towards a positive outcome in developing food processing units in the UT with maximum benefit for the locals.

Director Industries & Commerce Ladakh, Moses Kunzang highlighted the existing issues, potentials and requirements of industries in Ladakh, through a detailed presentation. He said that this summit was the first in a series of steps necessary to fulfill the overall goal and as a next step the Ministry of Food Processing Industry, along with appropriate agencies would develop implementation plans for the critical areas identified.

Invest India presented on various schemes available under the MoFPI to support the sector followed by presentations by representatives from National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship Management (NIFTEM), Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) for providing required technical and skilling expertise.

An open house question answer session was also held wherein the local participants shared their doubts and problems. Ideas for marketing promotion and financing were also shared by Invest India and officials from J&K Bank.

The summit was attended by around 170 participants including government officers, senior procurement officers from Indian Army, bankers, farmers, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, bakers, dairy farmers and unemployed youths.

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