Northeast crucial for India’s post-COVID economy: Dr Jitendra Singh

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said today that Northeast is crucial for India’s post-COVID economy and and the Northeast Agro sector , in particular, will be playing an important role in the resurgence of not only the North Eastern Region but the entire country in the new economic scenario.

Addressing an online meeting of officials of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC), groups of farmers and representatives of the agriculture sector, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the post-COVID era has offered a unique opportunity to the North East because most of the stakeholders and business as well industry Houses are looking at the North Eastern region to explore new potentials.

With the emphasis being on the agriculture sector and, with the North East avenues and resources not having been fully utilised in the past, there is going to be special preference for new investments and new ventures in the North Easteren States, he added.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER) is, of late, 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 Northeast. 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.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that many Business Houses are looking at the North Eastern region to exploit its vast agro-farming resources and we should not miss this opportunity. He said, there were offers to set up industries like Fruit Concentrates and Fruit juice plants.

NERAMAC can become a profitable enterprise in the post COVID era by identifying unique products, said Dr Jitendra Singh and through their branding and sale in markets outside North Eastern region to the rest of India. He also asked NERAMAC to come out with a roadmap for the same within a week.

DrJitendra Singh said that supporting the farmers at this crucial junction will be a win-win arrangement for NERAMAC, Farmers organizations, N-E region and the whole of India. He said, the Centre is forthcoming, society is ready, country is yearning for change and business Houses are keen to invest in North Eastern Agro farming sector in a big way.

Referring to abundance of fresh and exotic fruit, spices and other unique agro products like Black Rice, the Union Minister said that NERAMAC should become a hub of the Agri-Horti sector in the region and help farmers to enhance their income.

He praised NERAMAC for helping the farmers through procurement during the lockdown period and thus avoiding distress sales, but asked the organization to scale up their operations.

Secretary, Ministry of DoNER, Dr.Inderjit Singh, Secretary NEC, Moses K Chalai, Chairman of NERAMACShriSaurabhEndley and other senior officers of the Department attended the meet through Video Conference.