Meghalaya Chief Minister inaugurated the Jackfruit Mela 2022 at SMELC, Dakopgre, Tura

Shillong, July 20: The programme is being organised by the District Horticulture office, West Garo Hills in collaboration with the Directorate of Food Processing, Government of Meghalaya. Mission Jackfruit was launched in 2018 as a five-year programme and is being implemented under the Directorate of Food Processing.

This mission helps to catalyse and promote sustainable rural and urban livelihoods, assist the beneficiaries through establishment of small scale and nano enterprises, creation of a value chain for jackfruit products and generate employment opportunities along the value chain for unemployed youth, protect and preserve catchment areas.

This  provide an additional source of income for rural and urban families through the commercialisation of its processing and value addition, developing the markets for jackfruit and its value added products through a focused and professional go to market and field to fork strategy.

Delivering his inaugural address, the Chief Minister said that Meghalaya produces ₹400 crore worth of jackfruit annually and if leveraged in the right earnest will ensure socio economic development of the people.

He added that the Garo Hills region due to its tropical climatic conditions is conducive for jackfruit plantation and farmers from Garo Hills should take advantage of the different programmes initiated by the Government under the Jackfruit Mission and leverage their business and avail all assistance from the concerned department.

He informed that in the past four years the Government had made various interventions for the farmers and the Jackfruit Mission has led to the production of different value-added jackfruit products.

The Chief Minister also said that Meghalaya has the potential to develop Jackfruit into a ₹1000 crore industry which would directly benefit 50,000 farmer families in the State.

He also visited the stalls that have been set up by various SHGs and jackfruit entrepreneurs of the Garo Hills region. Later in the day the Chief Minister also distributed cheques worth ₹92,60,000 to 161 farmer producer groups at Rangsakona in South Garo Hills as part of the focus programme.

Farmers’ Collectivisation for Upscaling of Production and Marketing Systems (FOCUS) is flagship programme of the Government aimed at increasing production, improve productivity, facilitate credit linkages and strengthen access to markets for the producers engaged in activities such farming, livestock rearing and related activities.

Speaking at the programme the Chief Minister said that FOCUS is one of the largest farmers welfare programme in the entire North East aimed at upscaling farming and income generation activities of farmers of the state.

‘In the past two years a lot of hardships were faced by our farmers due to Covid. This programme was conceptualised by the Government to give financial assistance to the farmers and at the same time cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on the farming community of the State’, the Chief Minister said while exhorting the farmers to form producer groups to vail the scheme.

He said that FOCUS programme is envisaged to benefit 4.5 lakh farmers of the State while also informing that 2.5 lakh farmers have already availed the scheme.

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