Union consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, in the presence of Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, on Thursday, inaugurated the Meghalaya Pavilion at the ongoing three-day SIAL-India, 2019, event in New Delhi.
SIAL-India is an offshoot of SIAL-Paris, the world’s biggest food innovation and exhibition event. Meghalaya, being a partner-state in the second edition of SIAL-India, has been actively engaged in showcasing the best agriculture and horticulture products from the state.
Honey, branded as ‘Bee Natural’ from COLK Pvt. Ltd, Shillong, owned by Vijay Byrsat, won the Golden SIAL-India Food Innovation Award, which has put Meghalaya in the limelight at the event that has generated the much-needed attention the state deserves for its unique food products.
The Meghalaya CM spent the entire day at the pavilion in Delhi and interacted with various stakeholders, entrepreneurs, buyers and media professionals to inform them about the rich potential of Meghalaya and the North-East as an exclusive ‘Food Destination’.
He also said that a ‘North-East Food Show’ was slated to be held in Shillong in December. It was conceptualized after a delegation led by him visited SIAL-Paris last year.
“We have a lot of potential in our food products and value chain. We’re leveraging the rich resources and opening our market to the world,” the CM said.
Talking about the resource potential of the North-East, the CM said, “A business ecosystem is being developed in the state with a positive mind towards promoting entrepreneurship and linking them through different government programmes with the market.”
During his engagement with different stakeholders, Sangma said the North-East could become an investment hub since the region had a demographic advantage. He added that the North-East occupied 7.8% of the country’s total land space, but had a population of 3.8 crore — about 3.73% of the country’s population — where an emerging market was waiting to be explored and could prove to be of interest to domestic, as well as international, investors.
A 30-member strong team of producers and entrepreneurs from Meghalaya are taking part in the SIAL-India exhibition. The participants said buyers had shown keen interest in their products — especially in coffee, turmeric, tea, honey and jackfruit.