The state government will formulate a policy on agro processing and value addition based on the suggestions and ideas put forth at VAIGA (Value Addition for Income Generation) 2016, the 5-day international workshop and exhibition on Agro processing and Value Addition, being organized by the agriculture department in the state capital from Thursday.
Currently, the multinational companies enjoy a major profit share in the value addition sector, which calls for a government policy to benefit farmers by ensuring them a minimum price for their produce, agriculture minister V S Sunilkumar told reporters here on Wednesday. Besides, the government targets value addition in 20-40% of the total agricultural production in the state, which now remains at a low 10%, he added.
This target, he said, could be achieved through agro-parks, which will be set up in all districts in a phased manner, and by luring young generation into agripreneurship. The first phase will see agro-parks being set up in Kozhikode for coconut products, Thrissur (honey, banana and other fruits), Ernakulam (rice) and Idukki (spices), the minister said.
Meanwhile, the workshop, to be held at Kanakakkunnu Palace from December 1 to 5, will have its highlights in technical sessions where speakers of international and national repute will speak on successful models in agripreneurship, exhibitions that would provide opportunity for interaction with technology providers and open forums to come face to face with major business groups, banks and other credit institutions and commodity boards.
Technical sessions will be held on value addition in coconut, rice, mushroom, honey, millets, natural fibres, fruits, vegetables, spices, tubers and medicinal plants, and the key speakers include Uron N Salum, the executive director of Asia pacific Coconut Community; Sasikumar Karanath, the head, Marico, Indonesia; Hemang Dhalakia, the manager, Product Development Centre, Singapore; Annas Ahamad from VICO Bagoes, Indonesia; Peyanoot, a coconut processing specialist from Thailand and scientists from various universities.
A young entrepreneur meet will be held on December 3, while open forums will be held at 6.30pm on all days. The workshop will be inaugurated by governor P Sathasivam at 10am on Thursday, while chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the concluding ceremony at 5pm on December 5.
Original Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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