Itanagar, Jan 17: Arunachal Pradesh can be developed through small and micro industries, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said on Tuesday.
Speaking at 'Arunachal Pradesh Food Pro', a programme jointly organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Sadhvi said the central government is giving special attention to the development of the northeastern region.
"India cannot develop without the Northeast," she said, adding that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has been created to look after the development issues of the northeastern states.
"Efforts would be made to promote the region further," she said quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Stating that the food processing industry contributes a total of 13 per cent to the national growth, the Union Minister said Arunachal Pradesh with varied agro, horticultural and other ethnic produces has huge potential for development of food processing industry.
"Though an industrially backward state, Arunachal Pradesh can be developed through small and micro industries," she added.
Appreciating the locally-grown fruits, in particular 'kiwi', which is much better in taste and quality than that of Germany and New Zealand, Sadhvi said that through food processing, the whole nation can be developed.
"The four mega food parks being set up in the northeast would provide enough scope for promotion of the sector, besides creating job opportunities for the youths," she said.
The minister assured the state she would look into its problems and extend support from her ministry for its development.
Arunachal Pradesh Industries Minister Tamiyo Taga said that the food processing industry is of enormous significance for socio-economic development and employment generation.
"It (food processing industry) does value addition to the agriculture, horticulture and other edible produces, thereby reducing wastage of food products and contributing to the growth of agro, food processing and plantation industries."
Highlighting the status of the sector in the state, Taga said that 94 per cent of the state's population depends on agriculture to earn its living.
The state experiences varied agro-climatic conditions and smooth topography, which enables a good growth of horticultural produces, like spices, aromatic and medicinal plants and flowers and mushrooms, besides food crops, Taga said.