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Goyal.9.Thmb.jpg Goyal sets ambitious target of organic product exports worth $1 bn from Sikkim

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IANS | 17 Feb, 2023
Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday interacted with senior Sikkim government officials, representatives of industrial units, farmers' groups, entrepreneurs and tourism stakeholders here.

The Union minister is on a three-day visit to Sikkim.

Addressing the media later on Friday evening, Goyal expressed happiness over the pace of infrastructure and connectivity development in Sikkim.

"The air connectivity has been halted presently but we have raised the demand for resuming flights from the Pakyong airport and it will be addressed shortly by the Civil Aviation Minister," he said.

Sikkim will also have railway connectivity soon, added the minister.

Goyal also set an ambitious target of $1 billion worth of organic product exports from Sikkim by 2030.

"I met with the secretaries of 17 departments of the state to understand the progress of Sikkim. We are proud that Sikkim is the nation's first 100 per cent organic state. But I felt it was a gaffe in printing initially when I learned that the organic product export from the state earns only Rs 8 crore. After due consultation with the state government and various stakeholders, we have set a vision of increasing the organic product export of the state by Rs 8,000 crore or $1 billion by 2030," the minister said.

Goyal maintained that the Commerce and Industries Ministry will assist the state in developing organic products testing facility of modern standards along with a testing laboratory which will be set on a block chain technology to account for traceability.

"We are also making consideration for setting up a National Institute of Designing and Packaging in the state... An extension campus can be set up here. If the state government gives us existing infrastructure in any university, we are hopeful of setting up these institutes. The people, especially the youth, can learn the skill of packaging and designing of these organic products here in the state. We will train them and they will be trainers for others.

Goyal also suggested the involvement of more farmers along with setting up Sikkim producers development companies or cooperative societies, startups and more farmer producer organisations to usher in a new wave of development in the state by 2030 as part of holistic development of the northeast as has been the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government.

On Saturday, the Union minister will visit the Atal Incubation Centre and interact with startup founders and students at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT), Rangpo, about 42 km from Gangtok.

He is also scheduled to visit Budang FPS, and interact with panchayats and public at Tharpu village under Soreng district in West Sikkim followed by a review meeting on the progress of Aspiration District with the district officers.

Goyal will leave for Delhi on February 19.

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