" --IANS"
Kohima, April 21 - Food processing units in Nagaland will get a boost with the completion of four-laning of the Dimapur-Kohima stretch of National Highway 39, said an official on Friday.

The state government is of the view that the completion of the Dimapur-Kohima stretch of NH 39 -- constructed by the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation -- will also enable the state to set up cold chain facilities across the state by 2020.

Currently, due to Nagaland's poor road connectivity and poorer power supply, the state has not been able to process its horticulture despite having the potential.

With very poor road connectivity and poorer power supply, the state has not been able to process its horticulture produce such as banana, papaya, pineapple, chillies, ginger and a host of other products which result in 45 per cent post-harvest losses, said M.K. Mero, Commissioner and Secretary of Nagaland's Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department.

He was speaking at the inauguration of an Outreach Awareness Programme on Cold Chain under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

Due to the poor road connectivity, Nagaland farmers are economically exploited and highly under-utilised, Mero said, adding that as soon as the new infrastructure (Dimapur-Kohima NH39 four-laning) will come up in the next few years, the food processing potential of the state will multiply and result in a win-win situation both for farmers and end-consumers.

By 2020, it is expected that the work on four-lane road connectivity will get completed as also the power situation will improve. Nagaland expects host of food processing units coming on both sides of the new highway which will transform its horticulture sector that is currently languishing on account of poor facilities, Mero said.

Nagaland has also urged the Centre to come out with mini food parks in the state.

Under the proposal, Nagaland has sought contribution of 90 per cent of the cost by the Centre while the state will provide 10 per cent of the total cost of the mini food parks.

--IANS

rup/sm/dg


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