14 March, 2018
The major project in the hills of cooperatives are setting up by the Bengal government the State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department comprising local farmers, for processing and packaging locally-grown herbs and spices.
Since past six months the MSME Department has been working as to rope in local farmers for the cooperatives. They largely grow cardamom, basil (tulsi), turmeric and ginger.
Necessary machines and gadgets will be provided to the farmers as for processing and packaging herbs and spices. The cooperatives themselves are going to sell the products, so that the profits go back to them.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the peak and this venture will be one of the highlights of the Hill Business Summit. Top entrepreneurs are going to attend the summit.
Highlighting the forming of industrial cooperatives for the farmers in the Hills will help them get business. The major boost of the economy region is expected after the summit and it will be the first time that the people of hills will be exposed to such a big platform it will give them opportunity to showcase the potential of the region.
Hills are filled with forests and agro based resources. The Senior official of the MSME Department said, the project was under taken after a market study revealed that there is a immense demand for products like large cardamom, ginger, turmeric and basil. There is a huge demand for basil extract (‘tulsi arak’ in Bengali and ‘tulsi ark’ in Hindi), as it has high medicinal value. Senior official said “suppose there are 100 families involved in growing basil plants in the Hills. They will be brought under the cooperatives and will be provided with machinery for processing and packaging the same.”
He also added that the dairy products of Kalimpong, the famous orchids grown in the region, local dresses and handicraft goods will also be highlighted at the business summit.