IMPHAL,April 11: `There is a certain misconception about our indigenous drinks. Pure rice beer (Puk Yu) is the reason for our forefathers`™ good health and longevity.` Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said, speaking as the Chief Guest at the inaugural function of the National Conference on `Prospects and Challenges in Indigenous Foods and Drinks Sector`™ at Central Agriculture University, Imphal.
The two days conference is organized by The Association of Food Scientist and Technologist (India), Manipur Chapter, Imphal and sponsored by The Department of Commerce and Industries under the National Mission on Food Processing, Government of Manipur.
The Deputy Chief Minister emphasized that `Manipur has potential for marketing a host of indigenous foods and drinks which are yet to be harnessed for the global market. Rigorous research on our organic products, to establish both nutritional and medical value will also enhance its commercial value, he said.
`Our food habits have always impressed all the visiting dignitaries and this spells the appeal to the outside world,` he added.
`Manipur should definitely preserve, promote and export its exotic foods and drinks. Let the world know the state for its rich foods and drinks too besides its cultural and sporting excellence,` Dr Prathap Kumar Shetty, President, AFST(I) Headquarter CFTRI Mysore, and the guest of honour of the function, said explaining the new Centre Government`™s new mantra of `Make In India`™.
He also talked about locating the importance of food beyond taste and nutrition to manage diseases.
`India with its rich diversity of people and variety of food habits, holds an immense opportunity and prospect to introduce our indigenous food to the world with Geological Certifications` he said.
`Infusing technology to Farmers Cooperative is the buzzword to compete in the regulated market of processed food. Presently North East Recipes are missing from popular brands like Haldiram etc. which gives us the space to establish our own food chains. Professional value addition to the organic products can enhance the products and boom the national and international market especially as the world opts for the East.` he added.
Other dignitaries namely L. Nandakumar, MLA; Prof. M. Premjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, Centre Agriculture University and Prof. J.M. Laishram, Dean College of Agriculture, were also present in the function. A souvenir was also released on the occasion.