Northeast’s first-ever specialized ginger processing plant at Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya is being revived and is likely to become functional at the beginning of 2021, said DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Singh said this after reviewing the functioning of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), a PSU under the Ministry of DoNER.

He said that the only ginger processing plant in the Northeast was established around the year 2004 but has remained non-functional for many years.

“The NERAMAC has now undertaken the responsibility of reviving it and initiated steps to operationalize the closed Plant through PPP mode,” Singh said.

The minister said that the plant located at the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP), Raja Bhagan, Byrnihat will not only process ginger but also help in preparing products like waxed ginger, ginger paste, ginger powder, ginger flakes, ginger oil, etc.

Singh said that ginger has attained a place of prominence in recent months because of its highlight as an immunity booster against COVID-19 virus.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also referred to this recently,” he added.

“The ginger products being prepared from this plant will not only be available for domestic consumption but will also have a wider demand and this will also be in keeping with Prime Minister Modi’s calls for “Vocal for Local”.

“For the PPP mode, an Operation and Maintenance Operator was selected through the tendering process and the work on setting up and reviving the Plant is in progress,” Singh informed.

NERAMAC’s managing director Manoj Kummar Das informed the minister that the North Eastern Region produces about 450,000 metric tons of high-quality ginger every year but most of it is sold at a lower price due to lack of processing and cold storage facilities.

The plant at Meghalaya will give the much-needed facility to the ginger growers and they will be able to use their capacities and at the same time optimally utilize the natural resources, he said.

Das also informed NERAMAC’s plan to set up 100 new fresh retail points in Northeast and Fruit Kiosks at Guwahati and other major towns of the North Eastern Region.

“Most of these will be in the PPP mode. The NERAMAC has also undertaken the responsibility to develop marketing complexes with state-of-the-art facilities,” he said.

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