Lemlei Enterprises launched canned Ngaton and Pengba fish of Manipur for the first time in the state in a formal function held at Classic Hotel here on Wednesday.
Mayang Imphal MLA and MANIDCO Chairman Kongkham Robindro was the Chief guest at the launching function of the Made in Manipur products, the canned Ngaton and Pengba fish of Manipur.
MLA Kongkham Robindro during the programme expressed hope that Hentak will also be processed and produced in the state. He said canned food is liked by students and people living outside the state. He also said the people of Manipur need to understand the importance of local fish.
Robindro said that imported fish is not fresh and chemicals are used for preservation which causes various health hazards. He said that the Chief Minister has been urged to take steps to hike the tax on imported fish and check them regularly.
MLA Robindro hoped that more products would be launched by Lemlei Enterprises in the future and urged the people to support and promote local products and industries.
Giving his presidential speech, Managing Partner of Lemlei Entreprises, Khumanthem Rakesh Singh stated that the canned Nganton and Pengba fish of Manipur has been launched for the first time in the state. The canned fish contains brine solution with a weight of 450 gm, of which the net weight is 250 gm and its price is Rs 300.
Khumanthem Rakesh was a business studies student of Delhi University who returned home in 2019 and began selling smokeless dry fish in the same year under the banner of Lemlei Enterprise, which he founded with seed money of Rs 4 lakh at Shamusang Shantipur, Mayang Imphal.
According to the entrepreneur, while studying in Delhi he noticed the problems faced by Manipuri students in transporting and storing dry fish. Besides, he also highlighted the alleged presence of carcinogens in the commonly available dried fish and stated that he took these issues into account and started dealing in smokeless dry fish to solve these problems.
Khumanthem Rakesh also shared that during the initial stage of his entrepreneurial journey, he received aid from Central Agricultural University (CAU) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and received training from the Central Institute of Fishery Technology, Lamphel.
He also received Rs 25 lakh from the Manipur Government under a start-up scheme in acknowledgment of his innovative business model which led to the resounding success of Lamlei Enterprise.
The canned Ngaton and Pengba fish of Manipur will be available at all departmental stores and this can be ordered online with a free home delivery service.
Rakesh said that he chose Ngaton and Pengba for the production of canned fish during the Covid-19 pandemic as the local fish farmers faced serious problems after women marketers failed to sell the fresh fish which led to huge losses. He said that Lemlei Enterprises collected the fish from the local farmers to launch the product before the Ningol Chakouba festival 2022.
Lemlei Enterprise has also successfully provided employment to 11 individuals on top of supporting more than 60 fish farmers indirectly through contract farming since last year.
Dean College of Food Technology (CAU Imphal), Dr. Ng. Iboyaima Singh, President of TDCCI Thoubal District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. N. Saratchandra, Proprietor of Meira Foods, Hanjabam Shubra Devi and MD of Globizs, Roshnikumar Yambem were present as the guests of honour.