Shillong: The Meghalaya government honoured and awarded entrepreneurs and farmers of the state at an event on Friday.
Chief minister Conrad K Sangma appreciated entrepreneurs and farmers for their work and contribution towards enhancing agriculture, tourism, and entrepreneurship in the state.
Awards were presented to the best performing producer groups, collective marketing centres (CMC), Integrated Village Cooperative Societies (IVCS), and ginger processing units mobilised under the Meghalaya Livelihoods and Access to Markets Project (Megha-LAMP) and the Farmers’ Collectivisation for Upscaling Production and Marketing Systems (FOCUS).
Sangma emphasised on the importance of increasing income at the grassroots level across different sectors in order to be among the top per capita income states in India in the next ten years.
A comprehensive strategy to maximise and leverage agriculture and tourism in the state is being put in place, said Sangma adding that many livelihood-promotion and enterprise development-centred programmes and projects to institutionalise farmers, self-help groups, and producer groups are being institutionalised in the state.
Entrepreneurship has been a key area of work and the government is working to build a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem across all levels, said Sangma.
“Entrepreneurship offers people a platform beyond traditional mainstay agriculture and tourism represents the biggest potential in terms of job opportunities. The sector has to be developed and prioritised to cater to the 5 lakh youth that will seek employment over the next five to six years,” he added.
The chief minister urged the participants to become models for other farmers, producer groups, self-help groups, and entrepreneurs.
Also present on the occasion were Vijay Kumar D (IAS), Commissioner and Secretary, Planning, Meera Mishra, country coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) India, officials of the tourism and planning departments, and representatives from Khasi, Jaintia, and Ri Bhoi regions.
Craftspeople and artisans selected under the Ateliers Meghalaya and the Culinary Ateliers Meghalaya programmes and beneficiaries of the Homestay Scheme under the State’s Tourism Department were also present at the event.
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