Imphal: Minister of state for food processing industries and Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel launched seven indigenous food products at the conference hall of the Old Secretariat, here on Saturday.
The indigenous food products were Black Rice Laddoo, Black Rice Fruit and Nut cookies, Hot and Spicy Bhujia, Kabok Mixture, Manipuri Casava Burfi, Bamboo Shoot Muraba and Fig Laddoo.
Patel said, “Across the globe, we have high demands for Indian goods including those from the north eastern states. However, our main concern is maintaining high quality of manufactured items, which is also the consumers’ expectation.”
Emphasizing on the importance of proper packaging and branding in marketing manufactured items, the minister lauded Manipur Food Industries Corporation Limited (MFICL) for the quality packaging of the newly launched food items.
Patel observed that Manipur has several rich items like Black Rice; however, branding of any item on a state-level requires a name or a symbol.
He highlighted the importance of maintaining quality and said that a strong message should be shared with clusters and individuals involved in running food processing enterprises against compromising with the quality of their products.
Food processing is a focus area of the Prime Minister, he said, adding that materials available in the North East are mostly from the hills and forest and products from these materials are in high demand inside and outside the country.
However, these products still need certain requirements, like inscription of scientific and detailed information on the products, branding and marketing and transportation, he added.
Textiles, commerce and industries minister Th. Biswajit Singh, who is also chairman of the MFICLsaid MFICL was an unheard sector in the ommerce and industries department in the past, but today with the concerted efforts of all involved, everyone knows MFICL.
“What we are doing today will contribute in realising the dreams of the Prime Minister and chief minister. The product launch today is the beginning, we will be launching more in the future,” he said.
Stating that unemployment is a big challenge, he said, “We have to provide jobs to our youngster. MFICL started with only Rs10 lakh and has now created so many things.”
MFICL managing director Peter Salam said under the vision and leadership of Biswajit, MFICL initiated a project “Incubation Lab” in collaboration with TQS Global, Ghaziabad with a mere budget provision of Rs10 lakh. The aim of the project is to assist any entrepreneur with an idea to transform the idea into reality and provide market linkage as part of Make in Manipur initiative to promote indigenous food products.
He said labeling and packaging of the products are being done at Imphal, Delhi and Mumbai to achieve fine branding and attractive display.
He said for marketing and distribution, efforts are being made to market locally and outside the state, with outlets at metropolitan cities. This, he said, will showcase the state’s potential in food processing at the national market.