Food processing avenue in Nagaland would soon be opening up in plenty with the Union ministry of food processing industries already taking up various policy initiatives to explore and promote various activities in the northeast.
In order to boost the growth of food processing industries in the country, the ministry of food processing industries has now divided the country into zones and regions where the northeast region has been divided into two regions. In this, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura form NE Region II. For each of these regions, the ministry has appointed a Regional Chairman to "primarily suggest measures for overall development of food processing industries in the light of availability of raw materials and the state of infrastructure".
In this regard, the union ministry of food processing industries through an order issued by under secretary to the government of India, Kashi Nath has appointed Obang Longchari as the Regional Chairman of NE Region II for two years which is extendable.
Interacting with media persons, the newly appointed Regional Chairman, Obang Longchari disclosed that the setting up of a Mega Food Park in Dimapur was already in the pipeline which he said has already been approved by the central government at least "in principle". This Mega Food Park would be for the states of Nagaland and Manipur. He said the Park would basically be open for private entrepreneurs and would include facilities like cold storage, ware housing and other modern facilities. He said that the Park could become one sector where a solid base of economy could be build upon. "I think we have a future this food processing" he said and called upon the people for their participation to make turn the sector into a success story.
Important sub-sectors in food processing industries include: fruit and vegetable processing, fish processing, milk processing, meat and poultry processing, packaged/convenience foods, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks etc.
The function of the Regional Chairman would be to act as an interface between the Central Task Force and the State Task Force in the ministry of food processing industries. He would also act as a nodal forum and strategic link between the states and the centre. His function would also include assessing the availability of infrastructure and suggest measures for food safety standards and establish linkages of technology institutions/research organizations. The chairman would also play a role towards achieving the Vision 2015 of the ministry and act as a catalyst to explore the possibility of cooperative and contract farming so as to link farmers, processors and retailers together for maximization of value addition, minimization of wastage and improve the income of farmers.
Under this grant, the government of India would be supporting the states in areas like establishment of post-harvest infrastructure including cold chain infrastructure for food processing sector, setting up/ expansion/modernization of food processing industries, establishment of food processing industrial estates/parks, HRD in the food processing industries etc.