Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Shri Prahlad Singh Patel Inaugurates two-day North East Summit on Food Processing Industries at IIM Shillong

Union Minister of State for Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Jal Shakti Shri Prahlad Singh Patel today inaugurated a two-day North East Summit on Food Processing Opportunities in Shillong, Meghalaya.

Shri Patel today formally initiated the Summit 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.

Shri 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 Shri Patel while addressing the gathering at IIM Shillong.

While speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Union Minister paid tribute to former President of India Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who delivered his last speech at IIM Shillong.

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.

IIM Shillong Director, Prof. DP Goyal, Members of the North East Council, Khadi Gram Udyog, Experts, Entrepreneurs and dignitaries from different walks of life were also present at the event today.

A number of technical sessions are lined-up for the two-day summit where experts from different fields will be delivering lectures. The summit is aimed at building partnership for inclusive growth in food processing sector in the region.