Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Exploiting agro-based industries

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Editor,

The initiative taken by the Meghalaya Institute for Entrepreneurship (MIE) is just a small step towards the development and exploitation of agro based industries in the State. In a country of continental dimensions like India with about 60 percent of the population living in rural areas and around 67 percent of the population dependent on agricultural and allied sectors, the need for rural industrialization can hardly be emphasized. Meghalaya has been endowed with vast and varied natural resources – be it minerals, forest, flora or fauna. The exploration and exploitation of these resources can contribute substantially to the development of the state. If agro-based industries are set up on organized lines in rural areas with due attention to labor intensive techniques of production, setting up of service facilities for maintenance of agro-equipments in rural areas, it would surely alleviate the plight of the poor. Agro-based industries hold great promise to bring about substantial improvement in the quality of life of the people of the state.

Based upon the industrial opportunities and potential available in Meghalaya, the Government of Meghalaya has already identified the following as thrust areas: Horticulture-Based Units , Bio-technology Based Units, Tissue Culture and Orchid Units , Spices, Oleoresin and other Essential Oils Units, and Medicinal Plants, Tea and Rubber.

The plan and strategy to encourage Agro-based industries should emphasize on (a) Research and development programme and the findings can be implemented to support the plan for improvement and extension of agro-processing technology at different levels. (b) treatment and utilization of effluents from agro-processing industry should be included in the R.D. programme (c) financial incentives and support should be provided on liberal scale to promote the modernization of agro-processing industry and for establishing new such industries in production catchments (d) private companies, individuals, Banks, Universities should be encouraged to take more interest to provide for management of agro-industrial activities in the catchment areas (e) arrangements to supply market information to the farmer and agro-processor should be put in place.

Besides infrastructure, skill and technology training several other support services are also equally important for the promotion of agro-based industries. Some of the important additional services required for the smooth functioning of these industries include communication services, public policies, security, safety and financial support at the time of crisis.

Yours etc

Hridaya Hajong

Hyderabad – 7

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