The two-day North East Summit on Food Processing began today, organised by the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis at IIM Shillong.
The theme for the summit is ‘building partnerships for inclusive growth in the food processing sector’. It is being supported by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and aims to explore the scope of food processing and business opportunities in the North East.
The focus areas are infrastructure and connectivity in PPP mode, skill development, financial inclusion, service sector development particularly in food processing.
Speaking as the chief guest of the event, the Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh 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 factors.
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 and added that the industry itself has the power to generate employment and also aid in profit generation for the organisation, the state and the entire nation.
Presenting his welcome address, Prof DP Goyal, director of IIM Shillong, said, “Being the only IIM in the North East region of India, the institute has, from day one, acknowledged the huge responsibility of serving as a leader and also a catalyst to assist in the overall development of this vast and complex region. The institute is committed to continuously build engagements, particularly through our centres.”
Prof Goyal also expressed satisfaction over the institute’s overall performance in ensuring transfer of knowledge, learning and action during the pandemic while also informing regarding the seven symposia organized earlier by the APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for laying the base for developmental planning and emphasis on six sectors in particular (BPO, Horticulture, Handloom, Handicraft, Logistics and Tourism), which was attended by 2,000-odd participants from across the North East and the country.
In the North East there are only 60,000 units registered under MSME, which accounts for only 0.70 percent of the country’s total registered units.
Other invited speakers during the inaugural ceremony included successful entrepreneurs like Shubra Devi, proprietor of Meira Foods from Imphal, and Tage Rita, proprietor of Naara Aaba from Arunachal Pradesh.
A number of technical sessions are lined up for the two-day summit where experts from different fields will be delivering lectures.