GUWAHATI- Two innovative critical food processors namely a Solar powered drier and an Electrical meat/fish/fruit smoking machine are developed jointly by Assam down town University (AdtU) and North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) and was inaugurated at National Agri Horticultural Show 2021 at Bokakhat, Assam on 21st January, 2021 by Atul Bora, Minister of Agriculture, Govt. of Assam. Mr Manoj K Das, Managing Director of NERAMAC and Dr Sunandan Baruah, Dean of Engineering & Technology, AdtU were present with their respective teams.
The processors were developed under an MoU signed between these two leading organisations. The machines were also demonstrated before Mr Rajesh Prasad, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Mr Akashdeep, IAS, Commissioner & Director, Agriculture, Assam. Few Ambassadors of African Nations also admired the prototypes and evinced interest in taking the technologies to Ghana.
The Equipment are on display at the NERAMAC Pavilion at the National Agri Horticultural Show 2021. It may be mentioned that NERAMAC, which is the only PSU to have 13 GI registrations in the world, which is for farmers’ benefit. NERAMAC participated in National Agri Horticulture Show 2021 with seven entrepreneurs from North East India.
NER is a Bio Diversity Hot Spot of the World and due to its exotic eco system has evolved rich flora and fauna. It is rich in fruits and vegetables like Banana, Jackfruit, Areca-nut, Cashew-nut, Litchi, Orange, Star Fruit, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Sweet Potato, Tapioca, Tomato, Brinjal, Pumpkin, Wood Apple, Bitter Gourd, in large quantities and exotic fruits and vegetables like Elephant Apple, Tamarind, Plum, Olive, Assam Lemon, Ash Guard, Passion fruit, Drumstick, Hibiscus etc. and spices like Large Cardamom, Ginger, Turmeric, Chillies, Black Pepper, Star Anish, Jabrang, Alpena Galenga, Bay leaves, Long Pepper, Pipli, Cinnamon etc.
It is also very rich in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants like Amla, Ashwagandha, Curry Leaves, Sugandh Mantri, Harad, Bhumura etc. It also of late started adopting high value exotic fruits like Dragon Fruit, Strawberry, Cocoa, Apple Plum etc. which is giving additional income to the farmers. NERAMAC has been procuring, processing and marketing these products through out the country through its marketing network.
Much of these above produces are wasted or are sold at throw away prices due to lack of primary processing, storage, conversion to products etc. These processors are desired to be placed at household level to imbibe a culture of value addition at farm gate. This will help aggregation and marketing at scaled up level.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister suggested development of a drier for reducing moisture in Assam Rice. It may be mentioned FCI doesn’t procure rice from Assam citing high moisture content. Minister wished for an early development of the prototype.
NERAMAC MD promised to do the job shortly.