Keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for "Vocal for Local" in mind, the northeast India's lone "Ginger" processing plant in Meghalaya is being revived after 16 years, officials said on Thursday.
The Managing Director of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) Manoj Kummar Das said that India's northeastern region, comprising eight states, produces about 450,000 metric ton of high-quality ginger every year but most of this produce is sold at a lower price due to lack of processing and cold storage facilities.
"The "Ginger" processing plant at Meghalaya's Ri-Bhoi district would give the much-needed facility to the ginger growers and they would be able to use their capacities and at the same time optimally utilise the natural resources," Das said adding that Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh at a review meeting on Wednesday took the decision to revive the "Ginger" processing plant.
An official release said that the northeast region's only ginger processing plant, which would be revived soon, was established in 2004 but has remained non-functional.The NERAMAC, now under the DoNER Ministry, has now undertaken the responsibility of reviving it and initiated steps to operationalise the closed plant through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.
Singh, also Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office, said that the ginger processing plant located at the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Byrnihat along Assam would not only process ginger but also help in preparing products like waxed ginger, ginger paste, ginger powder, ginger flakes, ginger oil.
"Ginger has attained a place of prominence in recent months because of its reported properties as an immunity booster against Covid-19 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also referred to this recently," said Singh, who is also a physician by profession.
He said that the ginger products being prepared from the Meghalaya plant, would not only be available for domestic consumption but would also have a wider demand and this would also be in keeping with Prime Minister's call for "Vocal for Local".
The central minister said that a plan has been undertaken to set up 100 new fresh retail points in northeast and "Fruit Kiosks" at Guwahati and other major towns of the region. Most of these will be in the PPP mode. The NERAMAC has also undertaken the responsibility to develop marketing complexes with state-of-the-art facilities.