North Eastern Region holds lot of potential for food processing industry as the weather and adequate availability of water are conducive to food cultivation and suitable for growing large variety of fruits and vegetables, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said while inaugurating the Vibrant North-East 2016 Summit and Exhibition in Guwahati.
Speaking at the summit Badal stated that the North-Eastern states are rich in resources and the NDA Government is committed to addressing the issue of development of North East and therefore, the focus of the Government is to ensure development of the region and to link farmers with modern technology driven agricultural practices and also to accelerate the pace of developmental projects in this region.
She informed that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is pursuing development of North East through its schemes of Mega Food Park, Cold Chain, Abattoir and development of Food Testing Laboratories. As a step in this direction, 3 Mega Food Parks have been sanctioned for this region, one each in Assam, has been made operational, Mizoram and in Tripura. 5 Cold Chain projects have also been sanctioned by the Ministry in the States of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram which have a capacity of 11,500 MT of cold storage, 0.75 MT/per Hr of IQF capacity and 68 Reefer Trucks, 8 Abattoirs projects have also been sanctioned in North East states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim which are aimed at establishing modern Abattoirs and ensuring hygienic and scientific meat processing. The Minister also informed that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has sanctioned 6 Food Testing Labs in the States of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura for creating infrastructure for food safety and quality testing.
The Minister informed that the Ministry has taken up the issue of allowing 100 per cent FDI in Multi Brand Retail for such food which is produced by the Indian farmers and food products that are manufactured in India. She informed that this would be a revolutionary step towards modernisation of old kirana into modern food retail and providing fair remuneration to farmers.
Badal urged the entrepreneurs to come forward to set up food processing industries in the North Eastern region and make use of financial assistance provided by the Government which will usher in a new era of higher income to farmers, employment generation to the youth of this region as well as help in creating necessary infrastructure for the region.