IEP CHANDIGARH JULY 07, 2022
The Haryana state delegation, led by the Minister of Cooperation, Dr. Banwari Lal, is in Italy to study technologies for the preservation of food and cereals and to promote the state as an investment destination for Italian companies, in particular SMEs. The delegation includes MLA, Sh. Deepak Mangla, Chairman, HAFED, Sh. Kailash Bhagat, Managing Director, HAFED, h. A. Sreenivas, Deputy Secretary, Cooperation Department, MS. Shivjeet Bharti and the General Manager, HAFED, Dr. Arun Kumar Ahuja.
The delegation along with HE Dr. Neena Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Italy met the Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Mr. Qu Dongu at its headquarters at Rome.
The DG, FAO emphasized that the land is limited and more yield from the same land is required to feed the population with the least impact on the environment. Natural and organic farming techniques with minimum or no use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers is the need of the hour. He emphasized the need to support small and marginal farmers. They need inputs including seed, marketing channel, price support. He praised the Ambassador of India to Italy for her active role and offered to work together in the betterment of the farmers.
He further said that FAO offers technical support and ensured all possible help in the interest of the farmers of the State on receipt of request through the federal government of India.
Thereafter, in an event organized by the Indian Embassy in Rome at Hotel Westin Excelsior, the delegation had the opportunity to present the State of Haryana before Italian entrepreneurs. The meeting brought together several potential partners for trade and investment development between the two countries.
Welcoming the delegation and Italian entrepreneurs, Dr. Neena Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Italy, said, “The state of Haryana represents a wonderful opportunity for collaboration between the two countries, especially in this environment in global food shortages are expected to increase dramatically.”
She further said that the Indian delegation has been sent to Italy by the state of Haryana to develop partnerships between India and Italy and study new technologies, especially in the agricultural sector. Modern Haryana is one of the most developed states in India. It has the highest per capita income among the largest states in the country and is one of the largest producers of wheat and rice. More than 60% of the exported Basmati rice is grown here, one of India’s best-known varieties of rice. Furthermore, many Indian agricultural workers who come from this land currently work in Italy.
Haryana is also one of the leading global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destinations and over 5% of the world’s BPO and call centers are operated by Gurugram and other neighboring cities. Haryana is home to over 120,000 Indian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, so it is aware of the various challenges of the sector.
The head of the delegation, Dr. Banwari Lal, Minister of Cooperation, Haryana State informed that “Haryana is a leading producer of wheat and paddy. This visit serves to study modern technologies for the storage of grain and cereals. All this would help create a similar infrastructure in Haryana as well as minimize storage losses, and also extend the shelf life of the grains. We can also plan to do contract farming for supply of quality grains/products as per required EU quality parameters.”
Sh. A. Sreenivas, MD, HAFED gave a detailed presentation about HAFED and told that HAFED is the largest federation of agricultural cooperatives in Haryana that works to provide farmers with services and assistance together with the government with a turnover of USD 2.2 billion during the last financial year.
HAFED not only deals in procurement and Warehousing of food grains but also deals in Agri-processing and marketing of quality consumer products including rice, mustard oil, etc. First time in the history, HAFED has been exporting 20,000 MT of Basmati rice to a prominent buyer of Saudi Arabia (UAE) and we plan to manifold the export of rice in the coming years. This year, as a commercial decision, HAFED has also procured Durum quality wheat from Madhya Pradesh state, which is consumed in Italy for production of Pasta, etc. primarily for its export to Italy. Though the Government of India has banned the export of wheat, however, this can be sorted out bilaterally with the intervention of the Government of India.
For Italian companies, the Haryana Government initiative is an opportunity to export their technology to India and to raise awareness of its large food market. In fact, India is the second-largest producer of wheat in the world. However, this resource is rarely exported due to the national needs of its population of over 1.4 billion people.
In addition to wheat, milk is another great resource of India, so much so that the country is the world’s largest producer of milk. In particular, Haryana offers interesting opportunities for the Italian cheese segment, considering that over 40 percent of Indians are vegetarians. In this regard, the Haryana executive has launched initiatives to promote the production of milk with higher fat content and the Italian experience in production and in the cold chain could open a new market. The MD, HAFED said that this will certainly open growth avenues for the Federation as well.
These meetings will go a long way in the bilateral relationship of the EU and India and in the economic interest of farmers of the state.