The 222nd Board Meeting of NABARD was held in Shillong, Meghalaya on 25th May 2018 at the State Convention Centre. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K. Sangma addressed the Board Meeting. He was accompanied by Smt R. V. Suchiang, IAS, Principal Secretary, Finance Department and Shri Cyril. V. Diengdoh, IAS, Joint Secretary to CM, Govt. of Meghalaya.
Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman in his key-note address apprised the Chief Minister of the major interventions and commitments of NABARD in the State of Meghalaya such as RIDF projects, Integrated Tribal Development Fund Projects, Financial Inclusion. He highlighted the potentials available in Meghalaya especially for turmeric, ginger and strawberry and suggested for setting up of Food Park with all necessary logistical support like cold storage and processing plants. He assured that necessary support from NABARD would be available for the same. He also indicated that NABCONS together with the State Government can undertake feasibility study for establishing the food park. Chairman also suggested that NABARD would help the State of Meghalaya in obtaining GI tag for its famous Lakadong turmeric. He also informed that NABARD has provision for providing grant assistance to Meghalaya Rural Bank and Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd to acquire mobile vans for deepening financial inclusion.
Hon’ble Chief Minister in his address appreciated the role and efforts of NABARD in development of Meghalaya with regards to RIDF and TDF. He also highlighted the importanceand necessity of setting up of food processing centres in the State to give the maximum benefit to the farmers. Further, he also advocated for strengthening of the logistical infrastructure andsupply chains to have better connectivity with the nearest port of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He highlighted the importance of creation of a strong database for agricultural produce and product-wise mapping. He also expressed his concern regarding low banking network and low CD ratio in the State.
Chief Minister in his interaction with the Board Members emphasized on the need forcertification of the organic products, setting up of outlets and also strengthening of the banking sector by opening atleast one branch in every block with sufficient manpower and cash