Shillong, Sept 24: Union Minister of State for Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday inaugurated a two-day North East Summit on Food Processing Opportunities in Shillong, Meghalaya, at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong with the aim of building partnership for inclusive growth in the food processing sector.“They say that a good beginning does half of the work. PM Modi’s vision was ‘Not Look East, But Act East.’ Today I acted on this motto starting from Meghalaya and I realized that this State has immense possibilities that are yet to get into the path of development,” said the Union Minister of State (MoS) at the event.
Patel stated that three important factors form the base for success – information, connectivity and communication and that the food processing sector is also dependent on these factors. He cited the example of how producing a product at a place where it can also find its purpose can lead to a successful venture, and added that the industry itself has the power to generate employment and also aid in profit generation for the organisation, the State and the entire nation.“Government of India has come up with schemes to aid the distribution of products,” he informed adding that the only concern is being able to clearly articulate the issues or challenges faced during processing.
“We should discuss the issues properly and only then we can succeed. Discussion paves way for success. We all have the power of thinking and the strength to face any challenge that comes up,” said Patel.
The Union MoS also paid tribute to former President of India, Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who delivered his last speech at IIM-Shillong.
NE accounts for only 0.7% of country’s MSMEs
Member of Board of Governors IIM-Shillong, Atul Kulkarni stated that in the Northeast, there are only 60,000 units registered under MSME, which accounts for only 0.7 percent of the country’s total registered units. He highlighted the lack of awareness of Government schemes among the public.
Sharing some of the challenges that the Entrepreneurs face in the region, he said that insufficient institutional support and inadequate R&D are some that can be resolved by the Ministry. Among the challenges, poor infrastructure and less financial support is what is dragging the region down even though there is potential, stated Kulkarni.
He added that there is entrepreneurial competence in the NE region, which is a good sign and it can be capitalized to generate more income for farmers and provide employment opportunities.
During the event, successful entrepreneurs from different parts of the region shared their endeavours and challenges about their journey including the well-known Arunachal Pradesh-based Wine Brewer, Tage Rita and Manipur’s Proprietor of Meira Foods, Shubra Devi.