Food processing sector can improve rural livelihood: Sarkar

Agartala: Terming the food processing sector as a “sunrise’ industry, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today said it has the potential to generate huge employment opportunities for the youths in the state and can be critical for country’s growth.
The youth of the state needed to be provided with financial assistance to nurture their entrepreneurial skills and food processing is one sector that needed to be promoted aggressively, he said.
“The food processing industry is a sunrise industry which has the potential of dramatically improving rural livelihood opportunities and bridge the rural-urban divide. It is critical for the development of our country as it establishes vital linkages between the two pillars of the economy i.e. the agriculture and industry,” he said.
Sarkar was speaking at a conference ‘Linking Prospective Food Entrepreneurs with Government Schemes and Market’, organised by Assocham in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.
A constructive partnership would transform the food processing sector of the country and thereby transform the fortunes of Tripura, he said and emphasised promoting the development of viable agri-business and agro-industry coupled with institutional strengthening and capacity building across value chain.
Jitendra Chaudhury, Lok Sabha MP from Tripura, in his address said while agriculture is the main occupation for the majority of the people in the Northeast, experts have said horticulture is a major contributor to the economies of the states in the region.
The agro climatic condition of Tripura is suitable for both agricultural and horticultural crops and a strong and effective food processing sector would play a significant role in employment generation as well as harnessing and exploiting local resources, he said.
Fruits like banana, pineapple, orange, papaya, lemon and vegetables like potato, ginger and others grown in the state would have good marketing scope if properly harvested, processed and packaged, he added.
S N Nundy, Managing Director of Matthews & Company, said that focus for development should be on food processing, which holds unexplored scope to strengthen Tripura’s economy. (PTI)

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