India, Netherlands to strengthen partnership in agriculture

New Delhi: Union¬†Minister of Agriculture¬†and Farmers’ Welfare¬†Radha Mohan Singh¬†has met Carola Schouten,¬†Deputy¬†Prime Minister¬†and Minister of Agriculture,¬†Nature¬†and Food Quality,¬†Netherlands¬†in Krishi Bhawan and expressed his desire to further strengthen the existing partnership between the two countries in agriculture and allied sectors.

Singh reiterated the Centre’s resolve to double the income of farmers by 2022 and the initiatives taken and stressed on the need for infusing modern technology in India’s agriculture.

He further added that the Netherlands is a global leader in the construction of greenhouses as well as in the cultivation of flowers, plants and vegetables, and the diversification of agriculture sector into areas like livestock and plant-cultivation sectors.

Singh expressed happiness at the regular convening of Joint Working Group, the fifth having been held in March this year, where discussions on a wide range of issues took place and extended the Action Plan till 2021.

The Union Agriculture Minister further said a major success of the Indo-Dutch collaboration has been the commissioning of the Centre of Excellence (CoEs) for vegetables at Baramati in Maharashtra. The second CoE for flowers at Talegaon, Maharashtra will be ready soon.

The remaining others are in various stages of completion and the focus is on making technology affordable to the small and marginal Indian farmers.

Singh said other identifiable areas of interest for further cooperation such as technology for crop residue management and cooperation in the field of bovine breeding; dairy development, animal health and porcine development are also being looked into.

Earlier, during the joint statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, the two leaders on Thursday welcomed the intensifying of Indo-Dutch collaboration in the field of agriculture.

They commended the successful operationalisation of the first Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence (CoE) in vegetables in Baramati in Maharashtra. Both called for early completion of works in the remaining CoEs.

India appreciated and welcomed the Dutch desire to further strengthen cooperation in boosting productivity of apples, manufacturing food processing equipment, breeding high-yielding vegetable seeds, providing capacity building and training to dairy farmers, cooperating in the areas of bovine genetics and food safety and supporting sustainable and climate resilient agriculture to mitigate water shortages and end the practice of stubble burning.

India invited the Netherlands to explore the feasibility of assisting in setting up food valleys and invest in cold chain as well as food processing facilities and undertake capacity building programs in India.

Both sides have noted the finalisation of a concrete joint action plan under the MoU on technical cooperation in the field of spatial planning, water management and mobility management with a focus on smart city development.

The two leaders noted with satisfaction the MoU signed between the Maharashtra and Amsterdam in the area of sustainable urban development, including waste2energy.

Source: Business Standard

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