North East Rural Conclave 2017 Featured

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Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with North East Council, Government of India organised North East Rural Conclave 2017 on 30th August 2017 at Guwahati. “There is an urgent need for packaging and processing of agriculture/horticulture products in North East.” highlighted Mr. A.P. Tiwari, IPS; Project Director, Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM) while delivering the Special Address at the Inaugural Session of the Conclave. He mentioned that products like beetle nuts are being exported from Assam but there is no processing and packaging facility of this product in Assam. He also highlighted that banana cultivation in North East needs to be popularised and should be marketed well like the banana cultivation in Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. North East has human resources but no industry. This is leading to exodus of human resources from North East to other parts of the country. Industrialisation of products in small scale which are unique to North East should start to serve the local market with indigenous and locally produced goods in order to restrict importing of similar items from other parts of the country. In Assam there are entrepreneurs in Bell Metal products but it is still being imported from Moradabad to North East. There is a scope of setting up of big industry in areas like diary has a huge potential.

“To improve the economy of North East, focus should be more on Agriculture and Allied Sectors.”according to Mr. C.K. Das, IAS (Retd.), Member, North East Council. Mr. Das emphasised that in order to realise the vision of the Prime Minister to double the income of the farmers by 2022 specially in North East, per hectare productivity has to increase; multiple crop farming is needed and farmers needs to get involved in allied sectors in addition to agriculture. Other potential areas in North East include Fishery and Piggery. He also highlighted that North East being rich in natural resources and with fertile land available readily; important products like lentils are still being imported. Farmers should consider cultivating products in high demand like lentils, coconut, black pepper, sugarcane etc. in North East. Since the land holdings amongst farmers in North East is less, formation of cooperatives is required to meet the market demand. He also highlighted the need for improving the CD Ratio in the region and also need for survey of lands.

Speaking on “Market Linkage – Taking Northeast India to the world platform”, Mr. Avinash Ramachandra, Director – Public Policy, Amazon India highlighted the operations of Amazon in India and their several initiatives in various parts of the country and North East. Mr. Ramachandra also highlighted about the training programmes which they have taken up with NSDC for sellers using their platform. Mr. Abhijit Barooah, Co Chairman, CII North East Council delivered the Welcome Address during the Inaugural Session. The Conclave had very focussed deliberations on Opportunities & Challenges in Agri and Allied Sectors, Up-scaling of the Nonfarm Sector in Rural NER and Rural Services for Livelihood Promotion & imparting skills empowering people. CEOs, Experts and Senior Officials from Keventer Agro, North East Rural Livelihood Project, APEDA, NABARD, NERCOMP, Green Rev Industries Ltd, KVIC, SIDBI, NIRD & Panchayati Raj, NE Regional Center, RGVN, Arohan Foods and Annapurna Group deliberated in various Sessions during the Conclave.

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