Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday inaugurated a food festival to provide a platform to farmers and entrepreneurs in the North East (NE) region to connect with the national and global markets.
He said the North East Food Innovation Exhibition, a three-day event, will give the much-needed thrust to promote food processing sector in the state and the region.
"Such a food festival in the region brings all people on a common platform to identify the missing linkages," the chief minister said.
Besides exhibitors from Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, Argentina, United Kingdom, Georgia, Chile, Bangladesh and several other countries, there are 300 participants in the food expo which is organised by the state government and SIAL group.
"The objective of the food festival is to give exposure, connection and opportunities to the farmers and entrepreneurs of the region," Sangma said.
Farmers, technology providers, entrepreneurs, buyers, hotels and all stakeholders in food industry are being brought in a single platform, he said, adding that it will be a catalyst for Meghalaya to emerge as a major food innovation hub in the North East and the country.
The state government intended to take the food festival forward every year so that it will not only be beneficial to the North East but the entire South East Asian region.
"We are hopeful that this will be the biggest food festival in the South East Asian region," the chief minister said.
The food festival also provides a platform to highlight the unique cuisine and ingredients of the region.
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