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In a bid to give impetus to farm and farm-based industries in north Bengal, the West Bengal government will partner CII & Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence to organise the 'Agro business Synergy - Focus North Bengal' on May 18-19 in Siliguri. The showpiece event is being organised by the Department of Industry, Commerce and Enterprises (IC&E) in collaboration with the Departments of Agriculture, Agri Marketing, Food Processing & Horticulture, Animal Resource Development, Food & Supplies, Fisheries, Biotechnology, North Bengal Development Department and Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA). "North Bengal shares borders with Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. That's the reason why CII is trying to make sure the produces and products reach the markets of these countries," Chairperson, CII West Bengal, Smita Pandit Chakraborty, said in a statement here. "The South East Asian countries and the Middle East are also on the radar.
We expect some 1,000-plus potential investors," Pandit said. "Some highlights of the Agro Business Synergy - Focus North Bengal are individual Help Desks for the eight North Bengal districts and Financial Service Help Desks to be set up by SBI, Central Bank, NABARD, and West Bengal Financial Corporation (WBFC)," Chairman, CII North Bengal Zonal Council, Rajiv Lochan said. "There will also be Sector-specific Help Desks for Food Processing and Horticulture, Fisheries, Agriculture, Floriculture, Bio Technology, Tea, Meat and Poultry, MSME Technology Facilitation Centre including help desk for 8 districts," he added. "In the past few weeks, CII Teams reached out to chambers of commerce, trade associations, and also entrepreneurs of the eight North Bengal districts," Lochan said, adding that there will also be experts on paddy processing, maize, cold chain, etc. "Since many areas in north Bengal are inherently organic, the crops grown here can attract those who look for niche stuff, in India as well as abroad. The region is also suitable for rearing livestock, poultry and pisciculture," he said. The Inauguration of the showpiece event, scheduled tio take place on May 18 will be attended by two state ministers - Gautam Deb and Rabindranath Ghosh besides top government officials. North Bengal, which comprises 8 districts, has diverse agro-climatic conditions - something which is a great advantage for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, cash crops and plantation crops, Pandit said.