The government is in the process of reforming the industrial and investment policies to improve the ease of doing business in Manipur, Manipur Industry Minister Nemcha Kipgen said in Imphal on Wednesday.
Addressing a workshop on food processing opportunities in Manipur and buyer-sellers’ meet held on Wednesday at City Convention Centre, Imphal, she said India’s growing food processing industry is one of the largest in the world with output expected to touch Rs 50,000 crore by 2025.
The event was organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in partnership with the Union Food Processing Industries Ministry to focus on the Central and state government schemes and food processing opportunities.
Stressing that the food processing industry significantly helps in improving the socio-economic status of the people, Kipgen said that Manipur needs the sunrise sector to take off in a big way for making agriculture more profitable and to increase the overall per capita income of the state.
This is required as more than 70 per cent of the state's population is still engaged in the agricultural sector, she said, adding that Manipur has favourable agro climatic conditions for horticultural crops.
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While highlighting the advantage of the inherent strength, she further urged the entrepreneurs and business owners to familiarise themselves and avail the opportunities of the various government schemes under the state department of Commerce and Industry.
She also advised to avail the services of Nilakuthi Food Park and other upcoming Food Parks and make use of the food labs for quality control and rent the factory spaces. Indigenous food products like Black Rice Laddoo, black rice fruit and nut cookies, Kabok (puffed rice) mixture, Manipuri Casava Burfi, Bamboo Shoot Muraba and Fig Laddoo were developed under the incubation lab project of Manipur Food Industries Corporation Limited (MFICL), she said.
Director of state department of Trade, Commerce and Industry Y Robita said that women work more on food processing than men in the state. Only producing or processing food will not be sustainable without trading or selling them and therefore, every entrepreneur should have the knowledge of trading and selling, she said.
Trade, Commerce and Industry secretary Michael Achom said that entrepreneurs should know the margin value of a product as simple mistakes can ruin businesses.
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The programme also focused on creating a platform for a robust food processing sector and linking entrepreneurs with partners for forward-linkages. It also focussed on promoting the state’s economic vibrancy in terms of trade and commerce, buyer-seller interactions, logistics, thus enabling sustainable and inclusive development.
The workshop was attended by chairman ASSOCHAM Agriculture Council Ranjan D Sen; dean of College of Food Technology, Central Agricultural University, Imphal N Joykumar and members from Self Help Groups and stakeholders concerned.
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