Shillong | 16 Dec 2016
In a conference organized at Umiam near Shillong, Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuguanathan called for the promotion of agriculture as a career prospect for the youth of the northeast. Raising concern about the growing unemployment rate in Meghalaya, he urged the government, industries and scientists to make policies to attract the youth to agriculture. He said, “agriculture and food processing can play a vital role in the development of the state.” The theme of the conference was – ‘Linking Prospective Food Entrepreneurs with Government Schemes and Markets’. It was jointly organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industries of India (Assocham), Union ministry of Food and Processing industries (MoFPI) and ICAR Research Centre for NEH region.
Pointing out success of Meghalaya in the cultivation of non-traditional crops like tea, cashew nuts, oilseeds, tomato, mushroom, wheat, among others, Governor underlined the potential for agro-based food processing industries in Meghalaya. He accentuated the potential for starch-based processing unit in the state.
Om S Tyagi, Director of Assocham told about the significant progress made by food processing industry in the northeastern region. He said, “Sectors like agro and horticulture processing, processing of plantation crops, animal husbandry and meat processing industries have been declared as potential areas in the promotion of industrial activities in Meghalaya. Special emphasis is on non-traditional crops, such as oilseeds, groundnut, tea, coffee, medicinal plants and other crops.”
Nearly 80 percent of population of Meghalaya depends on agriculture for livelihood. About 10 percent of geographical area of Meghalaya is under cultivation. Climatic conditions in Meghalaya also permit a large variety of horticulture crops including fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, mushrooms and medicinal plants.