Honourable Governor of Meghalaya, Dr. V. Shanmuganathan inaugurated the Conference on Linking Prospective Food Entrepreneurs with Government Schemes and Markets
A Conference on linking prospective food entrepreneurs with government schemes and markets was held on December 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM in Swaminathan Hall, ICAR RC for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya in collaboration with Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ministry of Food & Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India. The purpose of the conference was to provide a platform to aspiring food entrepreneurs, existing SMEs in food, agriculture professionals & students, progressive farmers, Self Help Groups, etc. for sharing their views and learn about latest initiatives and opportunities available in the field of Agro Food Industries. Dr. V. Shanmuganathan, Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya was the chief guest. Inaugurating the Conference, Hon’ble Governor appreciated ASSOCHAM and Ministry of Food Processing industries, Government of India (MOFPI) for addressing the issue of linking farmer with market. He narrated the agricultural situation in Meghalaya and the potential therein and emphasized that making the farmers happy is a big social responsibility. He urged the scientists, entrepreneurs and other facilitators to give suggestions on how to attract youths towards agriculture, in response to which various suggestions were put forth. Dr. S. V. Ngachan, Director, ICAR RC for NEH Region, Umiam, expressed his gratitude towards the Honourable Governor for his guidance to the farming community owing to his profound knowledge about the rich culture and diversity of the North East Hill Region. He stated that an additional 5-6 million tonnes of foodgrains are needed in the next decade which necessitates a substantial increase in farm production. Shri Osmand E J Nongbri, Managing Director, Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank, gave a banker’s perspective of food entrepreneurs and expressed a need for collaboration with ICAR in evaluating and validating loan applications from entrepreneurs. Dr. Om S. Tyagi, Senior Director, ASSOCHAM, in his his welcome address shared that the food processing industry has made some significant progress in North Eastern region of India. He put forward that progressive farmers eager to take up enterprises may be facilitated through finance, technology and marketing. At the end of the event, Honourable Governor officially released a folder from ASSOCHAM, a technical bulletin titled “Sohiong: Advance propagation techniques” and a folder titled “Value Addition and Processing of Guava” from Division of Horticulture, ICAR RC for NEH Region. Presenting a warm Vote of thanks, Dr. A K Tripathi, Head, Division of Social Science, ICAR-RC highlighted the importance of Conference for the enthusiastic budding entrepreneurs for starting new ventures in agriculture.
Other speakers who addressed the Conference included Mr. Inamul Hussain Saikia,Consultant, APEDA. Shri Sajjan Kumar Tharad, Secretary, Frontier Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Meghalaya, Shri K. Ahmed, Advisor cum Project Chief, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI-NER), Dr. K. K. Datta, Professor Agri-Business, CPGS, CAU Campus, Barapani, Dr. A. K. Jha, PS & Head, Horticulture Division, ICAR-RC, Dr. G. Kadirvel, Principle Scientist, Animal production Division, ICAR-RC.