North-East crucial for India's post-COVID economy: Union Minister Jitendra Singh
Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, Aug 27 : Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said the North East is crucial for India's post-COVID economy and the agro products of the region will play an important role in the economic resurgence of the entire country.
Addressing an online meeting of the officials of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMAC), groups of farmers and representatives of the agriculture sector, Singh said the post-COVID era has offered a unique opportunity for the North East because most of the stakeholders and industry houses are looking at the region to explore new potential.
The North East is crucial for India's post-COVID economy and and the agro sector of the region, in particular, will play an important role in the economic resurgence of not only the North East but the entire country, he said.
Singh, the Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said that with emphasis being on the agriculture sector and with the resources of the North East not having been fully utilised in the past, there is going to be special preference for new investments and new ventures in the North Eastern States.
Singh said the Ministry of DoNER of late is being approached by several leaders in the fruit and agricultural industry who have flourished in other parts of India and are now keen to enter the North East.
"They are ready and it is now up to us to make sure that we should also be ready to optimally utilise their initiative and enthusiasm," he said. The Minister said many business houses are looking at the North Eastern region to exploit its vast agro-farming resources and the opportunity should not be missed.
He said there were offers to set up industries like fruit concentrates and fruit juice plants. Singh said the NERAMAC (North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd) can become a profitable enterprise in the post-COVID era by identifying unique products through their branding and sale to the rest of India.
The Minister asked the NERAMAC (North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd) to come out with a roadmap for the same within a week. He said supporting the farmers at this crucial junction will be a win-win arrangement for NERAMAC, farmers organisations, the region and the whole of India.
Referring to the abundance of fresh and exotic fruits, spices and other unique agro products like black rice, the Minister said the NERAMAC should become a hub of the agri-horticulture sector in the region and help farmers enhance their income.