Centre to push investment by food processing units in J&K

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Centre to push investment by food processing units in J&KNew Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Food processing companies are yet to respond to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal and commit investment in Jammu and Kashmir remains under partial lock-down following the Centre’s decision to strip it of its special status by nullifying the Constitution’s Article 370.

Local entrepreneurs from the state are, however, excited about new business opportunity in the sector.

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Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli on Tuesday said that investors are yet to approach him to put up their units in the hill state.

“‘No outsiders’.. but the local entrepreneurs are in talks to invest in the area” the Minister told reporters on the sidelines of an Walmart-FICCI event.

He said that his Ministry would tweak policies to ensure that the state gets new investment.

After normalcy returns to the state, the Minister said, a road-show would be organised to make locals aware of the central schemes for farmers.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Vivek Aggarwal who was also present at the event said that farmers don’t have negotiating power because the farmer has no choice but to sell his produce to the nearest market or the nearest vendors.

“This gap needs to be filled by private players,” Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Walmart Foundation announced $4.8 million or Rs 34 crores in grants to Digital Green and TechnoServe to enable programs that help small farmers have access to agriculture technology, training on sustainable farmer methods and enhanced access to formal markets among others.

“Today’s grant announcement builds upon the Walmart Foundation’s efforts to increase economic opportunity for small-holder farmers and their families while promoting sustainable farming practices and the empowerment and inclusion of women,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart Foundation President and EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart.

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