Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh on Tuesday said that there is a need of multi-dimensional support and nurturing entrepreneurship skills by helping farmers, startups and SMEs in food processing sector in Imphal.
Joykumar was addressing the conference on ‘Linking Startups and SMEs in Food Processing with Government Schemes & Markets’ in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries here on Tuesday.
The conference was organized by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) in association with MoFPI (Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India), ICAR Imphal centre and NABARD in Imphal.
Expressing the need to promote the Food Processing industry by developing integrated system as to enable aggregation of holding, production, technology, etc. for economic prosperity, the minister emphasized on the need for infrastructure development like cold storage, connectivity, partnerships for training and marketing to accelerate growth and development to Food processing sector in this region leading to more jobs, incomes and opportunities for the people of this region. He also suggested comprehensive agriculture in Manipur through organic farming, veterinary, poultry, floriculture, etc.
Minister Joykumar also presented a holistic picture of the Indian Food Processing industry as well as scope of Manipur to get itself in the forefront. Market linkage is the major problem faced by Manipur farmers; hence industry associations like ASSOCHAM should focus on building external market linkage for food processing units in Manipur.
In his speech, Assistant Director Chetan Vij of ASSOCHAM said, the food processing industry has made some significant progress in North Eastern region of India. Areas like – Agro & Horticulture Processing, Processing of Plantation Crops, organic farming as potential area in the promotion of industrial activities in the state of Manipur. He highlighted various schemes run by MoFPI like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojna, etc.
NABARD official PN Praveen Kumar advocated that Farmers Producers Organizations should be at the forefront in the development of Food processing sector of the State while Secretary General Sanajaoba Singh of All Manipur Food Processors Association said, “The State’s economy is largely agrarian, a variety of horticultural/plantation crops are produced in Manipur like paddy, potato, mustard and pulses and large cardamom, etc. Food processing industry especially agro- horticultural based has been identified as a thrust area of development in the State.”
In his speech, Joint Director Dr Meghachandra Singh ICAR Imphal centre said that the geo-climatic situation of Manipur offers an excellent scope for growing different varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants of high economic value.