Not just Look East, But Act East, affirms Union Minister Prahlad Singh at IIM Shillong
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.
Patel formally initiated the Summit at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong with an aim to build partnerships for inclusive growth in the food processing sector.
"I realised that (Meghalaya) has immense possibilities that are yet to get into the path of development,” said the Union Minister.
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. 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. Patel also stressed how the industry itself has the power to generate employment and aid in profit generation for the organisation, the state vis-à-vis the nation.
“Government of India has come up with schemes to aid the distribution of products,” he informed, adding that the only concern is how 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.”
Member of Board of Governors of IIM Shillong, Atul Kulkarni, who was also present at the event, stated that, in the Northeast, there are only 60,000 units registered as a micro, small and medium enterprise, accounting for only 0.7 per cent of the country’s total registered units. He highlighted the lack of awareness of government schemes among the public.
He considered insufficient institutional support and inadequate R&D as some major challenges that can be resolved by the ministry, besides the poor infrastructure and weak financial support. Kulkarni said that there is entrepreneurial competence in the Northeast region, which needs to be capitalised.
During the event, successful entrepreneurs from different parts of the region shared their endeavours and challenges, 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 various dignitaries were also present at the event.
A number of technical sessions are lined-up for the two-day summit, where experts from different fields will be delivering lectures.
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