Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday that the agro sector in the Northeast region is crucial for the post Covid economy of India.
Interacting with North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) officials and groups of farmers through video conference, Singh said that many business houses are looking at the Northeastern region to exploit its vast agro-farming resources and “we should not miss this opportunity”.
He said that lucrative offers for setting up industries like fruit concentrates and fruit juice plants have been received and the same can be executed at the earliest.
The minister asked NERAMAC to become a profitable enterprise in the post Covid era by identifying unique products and through their branding and sale in markets outside the Northeastern region to the rest of India.
He also asked NERAMAC to come out with a roadmap for the same within a week.
Singh said that supporting the farmers at this crucial junction will be a win-win arrangement for NERAMAC, farmers’ organisations, Northeastern region and the whole of India.
He said the Centre is forthcoming, the society is ready, the country is yearning for change and business houses are keen to invest in the Northeastern agro farming sector in a big way.
The Minister expects that it will certainly help in the post Covid economic recovery of India.
Referring to the abundance of fresh and exotic fruits, spices and other unique agro products like black rice, the minister said that NERAMAC should become a hub of the agri-horti sector in the region and help farmers enhance their income.
He praised NERAMAC for helping the farmers through procurement during the lockdown period and thus avoiding distress sales, but asked the organisation to scale up their operations.
Singh also noted with optimism that the turnover of NERAMAC has increased from Rs 2 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 20 Crore in 2019-20 and asked it to achieve a target of Rs 200 crore in the next five years.