GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Tuesday, inaugurated a 5000 metric-tonne-capacity cold-storage facility at Chaygaon and a fruit-processing centre at the food-processing park at Satabari under Kamrup district.

The 5000-meric-tonne cold-storage facility has been constructed by the Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board at a cost of Rs 24.75 crore.

The ‘chiller’ and ‘freezer’ rooms of this facility, that is likely to benefit farmers of Kamrup-Metro, Kamrup, Goalpara, Nalbari and Barpeta districts of Assam, has storage capacity of 550 metric-tonne and 575 metric-tonne respectively.

While the chiller rooms would be meant for storage of agricultural items such as potatoes, fruits and other vegetables, the freezer room would be of use in storage of milk and milk-produces.

The fruit-processing unit, on the other hand, has been built at a cost of Rs 2.89 crore.

It is worth mentioning that that this fruit-processing unit is the first of its kind in Assam.

Speaking at a public meeting correlating held at the Chaygaon College playground, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to the youths of the state to focus on processing and packaging of agriculture produces and items.

Stating that Assam’s produces such as ginger, pepper, lemon, joha rice have great demands in the national and international market, the chief minister said that the farmers of these items shall be able to reap remunerative values for their produces only if their produces are further processed and packaged, which will add to their value-addition.

This, the Assam CM said, would have a huge positive impact on the ongoing process of strengthening of the state’s economy.

Stating that Assam’s economy is still highly dependent on agriculture, CM Sarma, spoke about the initiatives of the state government towards modernization in the agricultural sector, expanding the market for agricultural produce and attracting the youths towards the sector, among others.

He said that the Assam government shall ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rice would be raised to at least Rs 2006.

Similarly, 9 lakhs new beneficiaries will be added to Arunoday scheme from next month, the Assam chief minister added.

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