Jowai, January 22: The PRIME Hub in Wahiajer village, located in the Thadlaskein Community and Rural Block, West Jaintia Hills, was officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on tuesday. Notable dignitaries, including Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Deputy Chief Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, Cooperation Department Minister Comingone Ymbon, and others, graced the inauguration ceremony with their presence.

Chief Minister, in his Speech emphasized the pivotal role of the communities in the success of initiatives like the PRIME HUBs. “In every state block, there will be PRIME hub accompanied by diverse infrastructures catering to the needs of farmers”, he declared. Chief Minister highlighted the rapid progress of the Wahiajer infrastructure, constructed in just a matter of months. He said, “It costs about Rs 4 crores to make this, and as you can see, it is completely solar power through which the cold storage, lights, and machines are operating. Our target is to see that we can put this throughout the state in as many blocks and constituencies as possible wherever the farmer collectives or community based organisations are active.” 

The Wahiajer PRIME Hub, dedicated to processing turmeric, ginger, and broom grass, is poised to impart knowledge and introduce technology to farmer collectives, women’s collectives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in the region. The government’s commitment to doubling farmers’ income is reflected in mission-mode interventions covering turmeric, ginger, jackfruit, mushroom, apiculture, spice, and more.

With 80 Collective Marketing Centres, 79 Ginger and Areca Nut warehouses, 13(20MT) Cold Storages, and 27(5MT) Cold Storages at farmer’s markets, the government aims to create a resilient and efficient agricultural ecosystem. The government’s commitment to better remuneration for farmers is evident through Government’s focus on primary value addition and food processing, with over 160 micro-processing centres, including units for processing of Ginger, Areca nut, Turmeric, Jackfruit, aromatic oil distillation, Cashew, Pepper, and Banana, being established in the state.

To support the farmer collectives, interest-free working capital loans totalling Rs. 12.4 Cr from 2021-23 have been provided. With seven operational hubs and more underway, the PRIME initiative, launched in 2019, aims to uplift and promote entrepreneurs through comprehensive programs, including incubation, mentorship, funding access, and networking opportunities.

The government envisions one PRIME Hub per block, fostering agri-entrepreneurship at the grassroots level for a resilient, self-reliant, and prosperous future for Meghalaya’s agricultural landscape.