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Gov Ganga Prasad stresses on Food Processing for improved farm income

Gangtok,Jan 24 (UNI) Governor Ganga Prasad during his inaugural address at the day-long programme themed 'Uplifting Organic Food Processing of Sikkim for Global Connect' appealed to the farmers and government of Sikkim to come forward for food processing and promote the sector.
He said new generation is less attracted towards farming but it is an important work.
Speaking at the programme hosted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the governor said farmers are the back bone of an economy.
Sikkim Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative in Rangpo can provide the farmers of to improve their production, he said and added that Food Processing will fetch the farmers better income.
The governor pointed out that the youth are coming up with new startups and since Sikkim is the only State fully Organic it can open new opportunities for them.
He said the reduced production of cash crops like Mandarin Orange should be researched and added that the scientists and experts need seriously pursue studies on such issues.
As far as marketing of Organic produce is concerned, the governor endorsed the suggestion of Additional Chief Secretary ,Commerce & Industry Thomas Chandy that marketing products in Kolkata and Delhi would be beneficial for farmers.
The experts should visit farms and make farmers aware of marketing facilities, he said.
During the programmed the governor joined by other guests released the ‘Knowledge Report’.
Surojit Samanta, Chairman of ASSOCHAM, Eastern Region, said the industry body visited Sikkim at the the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wanted it to visit all the North Eastern States.
He said ASSOCHAM has been preparing appropriate Industrial platform with special focus on North East.
He said Act East policy was formed to strengthen the economy of the northeastern states.
In order to keep its food industry profitable, Sikkim has to concentrate to make growers and food processors aware of the changing Food Industry as per changing tastes of the people, he said.
For promoting the northeast, the Central government has asked ASSOCHAM to organize a special NE programme. Sikkim will be partnering in the programme to be held Guwahati in Assam.
Rosie Tshering General Manager of NABARD in Sikkim informed the ASSOCHAM team the opportunities it provides.
Additional Chief Secretary Thomas Chandy talked at length about the traditionally cultivated Cash crops. He suggested introducing ASSOCHAM programmes in districts and ways and means to outreach entrepreneurs and farmers in Sikkim.
Secretary of Horticulture Department MT Sherpa told the gathering that 65 per cent of the small and marginal organic agricultural holdings of Sikkim live in rural areas. Committed farmers have continued their work despite geographical constraints, he said.
He said the government is planning to go with low carbon, green economy. Food Processing will be a welcome move, he admitted.
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