ITANAGAR, June 26 - Reiterating that there must be food processing and cold storage units in each district and sub-division of Arunachal Pradesh so that horticultural products do not go waste, Arunachal Governor JP Rajkhowa has observed, �It is high time the State Government comes forward and take up fruit and food processing units under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.�
The Governor was speaking at a function after inaugurating a fruit processing centre set up by Muskan Welfare Society, a ladies� non-profit organisation headed by his wife Rita Rajkhowa in the Raj Bhavan complex here on Saturday.
He pointed out that Arunachal produces the largest amount of Kiwi fruits, which are transported to other States for production of Kiwi wine. However, the farmers and State do not gain much, even though the quality of wine produced from Kiwis from the State is of top quality, he said. He suggested that a winery may be set up in places like Ziro, Dirang, which will not only boost the economy of the State but farmers, youth and entrepreneurs will benefit in terms of sale of their products, income generation, employment and opening up of avenues for entrepreneurship.
Noting that Muskan�s project has been set up in a record time of less than a month, the Governor said that State Government departments must take a lesson out of such project implementation process.
Speaking on the occasion, Timothy Das Hanse, Advisor (Agriculture), Government of Assam, informed that 40 per cent of fruits produced is damaged during harvest. He suggested that Arunachal Pradesh tie-up with Assam to mitigate the challenges, while assuring all possible help from Government of Assam. He informed that there are 17 Govt. Food Processing Centres in 17 districts of Assam and 40 FPCs are run by women self-help groups.
A three-day training course on fruit processing was organised with an expert trainer from Assam. In all, 29 trainees including housewives, self-help group members and youth are undergoing the training.