Guwahati: With its proximity to South East Asian markets, being home to diverse and exotic variety of fruits and other crops, North Eastern states could emerge as major centre of food processing industry, experts said.
"The North East is next door to the markets in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) nations. With peace returning to the region and 10 per cent of the budget for union ministries being allocated to North East, there is immense scope for food processing industry in the region," Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Director General Rajeev Singh said today.
Union Food Processing Industries Ministry, jointly with the ICC, today organised North East Food Tech Summit in the city.
Singh said with fruits like pineapple, kiwi, peach and plum, besides mango and banana, being abundantly cultivated in the North Eastern states, the food processing industry can emerge in a big way.
Speaking on the occasion, Director of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship S K Saikia said that food processing in the region is currently dominated by bakeries and flour mills.
"There is a need for proper data collection and storage about not only fruits and vegetables, but also their diverse breeds and varieties, if the industry in North East is to emerge competitive in national and international level where issues like brand and quality control are important," he said.