Teli announces food parks in Meghalaya, Sikkim

Shillong, Dec 6: Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli on Friday announced setting up of a mega-food park in Meghalaya and a mini-food park in Sikkim.

“We have already sanctioned setting up of Mega Food Parks in almost all the North Eastern States except for Meghalaya and Sikkim. A mega-food park at Banderdewa in Arunachal Pradesh has also been sanctioned,” Teli said at the Chief Minister’s conclave on ‘North East Food Show 2019’ here in Meghalaya.

“For 2020, the ministry has a budget of Rs 1,100 crore for the North East region. Food parks for Meghalaya and Sikkim will be set up soon. All states in the North East should have a food park by the end of my term,” the Union Minister added.

Noting that the central government has given special emphasis on setting up food processing industries in Northeast India, Teli said that Union Government will provide 75 percent subsidy to entrepreneurs to set up food based industries in the region.

He also added that the government is planning to set up an IIT like institute in Guwahati for food related research.

Teli said that North East is renowned for organic farming which must be showcased and emulated in other parts of the country and added that the Ministry of Food Processing is focussing on organic farming and products.

The Minister also said that there is high demand for food products of North eastern states like Bhot Jalakiya (King Chili) and Black Rice and therefore there is huge business potential for the food industries in this re

Union Sports and Youth Affairs minister, Kiren Rijiju, who also attended the conclave, said that food of the North East is known to be healthy and organic.

“Food business is huge providing attractive career options on a sustainable basis within the North East,” he said.

Rijiju said that North East needs to look at the quality and not the quantity of food produced to make food and food processing a part of the economic growth of the region.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Sikkim Tourism Minister B. S. Pant also appreciated the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and his government for organizing the event and highlighted the initiatives taken by their respective governments for promotion of food industries in their states.

Sangma said that the first edition of the three-day North East Food Show witnessed 250 exhibitors, B2B discussions and training programmes.

He also informed that different hotels have expressed interest to procure vegan meat like jackfruit. He said that the response for homemade and fruit made wine has been great and the government is looking at coming up with a policy to regulate wine making so that both the farmers and entrepreneurs can benefit.

Sangma also announced that the North East Food Show will be an annual calendar event and the second edition of the North East Food Show would be held on November 26, 2020 and continue till November 28, 2020, taking the food sector and all stakeholders in the food industry to new heights.