APAMB opens door for pvt investment in agri-horti sector

ITANAGAR, 4 Aug: The Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB) concluded a ceremonial agreement between Chandigarh (Punjab)-based IG Fresh Produce Private Limited (IGFPPL) and farmers of Namshu village in West Kameng district “for state of art cultivation of exotic fruits like kiwi and stone fruit on 40 hectares of land at Namsu village” in a function at the Arunachal Pradesh Innovation & Investment Park in Niti Vihar here on Thursday.

“With this, the agriculture sector in the state will receive the much-needed investment for its growth. The IGFPPL has envisaged investment of more than Rs 100 crore in five years in the cultivation, R&D and post harvest activities of kiwi in West Kameng district. The project will also generate gainful employment (technical and non-technical) for 500 youths over a period of five years in the Kameng sector and from the rest of Arunachal Pradesh,” the APAMB stated in a release.

“This will not only boost the production of kiwi in the state but also increase the sale and export of kiwi and other fruits from the region,” it added.

The APAMB is the premier agency of the state government that is exclusively responsible for the marketing of agriculture and allied sectors’ produces. The IGFPPL is one of the top fresh fruit importers in the country and a major supply chain player. “It has developed an efficient supply chain of providing high-quality fresh fruits like apples, kiwis, citrus, pears, blueberries, avocados, stone fruit, grapes, etc, to 27 cities across the nation,” the release said.

Addressing the function, Agriculture & Allied Departments Minister Tage Taki congratulated the APAMB and the Invest India team for “actively working to achieve this feat” and said that “initiatives like this can make the import of kiwi zero in the country.”

The minister gave assurance that the state government would provide “all the necessary help to IG Fresh Produce and farmers.”

Dirang MLA Phurpa Tsering said that “this kind of path-breaking initiative of the agriculture marketing board is commendable.

“The marketing board has moved from traditional departmental activities and working like a corporate office, which is the need of the hour for the betterment of farmers, stakeholders and for the state as a whole,” he said.

He congratulated the APAMB and the AP Innovation and Investment Park “for tie-up with Invest India NE desk team and initiating the first project in Dirang (West Kameng).”

IGFPPL president Gautam Kumar Jha explained the functioning of his company in terms of import and distribution of fruits throughout the country, while NEC Shillong health adviser Calvin Harris Kharshiing assured to provide all possible help to make the enterprise a success.

Invest India NE desk head Geetima Das said that “the central government is committed and focused on the growth and development of NE India and this initiative has the potential to contribute significantly towards the growth of Arunachal Pradesh.”

APAMB CEO Okit Palling said that, “for agriculture and horticulture sector to take a new leap, the only possibility is through private investment. The government sector is basically for technology transfer through R&D and agri-horti extension services and support from state government and centre are basically welfare in nature and not commercial.

“Hence, investment in the sector is the pathway for the sector to grow and flourish,” he said.