Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, in presence of MLA Pyniaid Sing Syiem, on May 24 inaugurated the Jackfruit Techno Incubation Centre (TIC) located at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Mawdiangdiang in Shillong.
The Jackfruit Techno Incubation Centre at IHM, Shillong is one of the two incubation centres under the government’s mission jackfruit that is being set up in the state. The government is also in the process of setting up a techno incubation centre at the College of Community Science, CAU, Tura.
Envisaged as a five-year project, mission jackfruit was launched in 2018 and is being implemented under the directorate of food processing.
During his inaugural address, chief minister Conrad Sangma said that the mission mode programmes of the government are aimed at promoting sustainable rural and urban livelihood and help farmers realise increased income through value addition and access to better markets.
“The jackfruit mission was (initiated) to ultimately make sure that the farmers are able to use the product in a constructive manner…and get value out of the Rs 500 crore worth of jackfruit that was going to waste…Until and unless we can’t convert those products into things that are sellable and make something more out of something we already have, it’s going to be useless,” Sangma said.
The chief minister also stressed on the role of agri-entrepreneurs as a link in the process of value addition and finding lucrative markets for the finished products.
Stating that the ultimate objective of the different programs being implemented in the agriculture sector is for the benefit of the farmers, the chief minister also underlined the need to align the different initiatives to achieve the required results.
“We need to connect the different programmes that are happening. We cannot allow them to work in silos and we need to ensure that we are able to connect the processes together so that we actually achieve something, and the farmers gain something,” he said.
The chief minister also emphasized the need to encourage eateries and restaurants to source local products to promote them.
MLA Pyniaid Syiem, during his address, expressed gratitude for the different programmes initiated by the government for the welfare of farmers.
Chairman, Meghalaya Farmers’ (Empowerment) Commission, KN Kumar said that the TIC will act as a common processing centre for jackfruit and provide hands-on training to beneficiaries. He added that the TIC will be a centre for innovation and development of new products from jackfruit.