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German govt keen to partner with Indian cos for food, agri cooperation
Wednesday, 26 November, 2014, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
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The government of Germany is keen to partner with Indian industries in the fields of food and agriculture cooperation. This was stated by Dr Hermann Schloder, who heads the German federal ministry of food and agriculture’s trade promotion and quality policy division, at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Agro Tech 2014, which concluded in Chandigarh recently.

Speaking at a session featuring agro business companies from Germany and India, he said, “Since the agriculture scenario and its challenges and opportunities are alike in the two countries, it is imperative that they work in tandem, learning and sharing from each other’s experiences.”

“We are willing to share our research findings, experiences and policies, and the latest technologies and best practices adopted in Germany with Indian farmers, especially those in the north, so that they can also benefit by adopting the same,” Dr Schloder added.

“One thing India can learn from us is agri subsidies. This was a challenge in Germany, and is presently the case in India. We gradually reduced our dependence on agricultural subsidies, which made our agro-business companies adopt newer means of production and advanced procedures converting the net importers into net exporters. We would like to see the same happen in India, and are really committed to extend full support,” he said.

“Germany and India must rely on each other, and develop a mutual understanding for better future cooperation, which could be possible by organising more and more delegation visits of scientists, academicians, government representatives and exchange programmes and study tours of farmers from both countries,” he added.

Ursula Holzhauser, food and agriculture counsellor, German Embassy, said, “We, in Germany, are very aggressive in adopting latest technologies in agriculture, since agriculture is the primary occupation in our country, so we can guide the Indian farming community and the agro processing units a lot as well.”  

Being very upbeat about the Indian consumer market, she stated, “The Indian consumer market is highly attractive globally, and if we are able to integrate the supply from Germany and the demand from India, the two nations would benefit tremendously.”

Alina Gumpert of the German Asia-Pacific Business Association said, “There are many German agro companies which are looking for mutually-beneficial business associations with their Indian counterparts. It is thus our aim to establish a strong network of association for greater cooperation.”

“By associating with industry bodies like CII, we seek to represent their interests in the Indian economy and help them engage in new projects. Our newest initiative, Potato India Field Day, is the first step towards engaging much larger Indo-German association,” she added.

“By showcasing the entire process from growing to cultivation by synergising German engineering with Indian production, we seek to take the first step towards creating a value system for the future,” Gumpert added.

Rajesh Srivastava, co-chairman, CII Agro Tech 2014 Conferences, and chairman and managing director, Rabo Equity Advisors Pvt Ltd, said, “While India is amongst the top agricultural countries of the world, the core issue is of productivity, which I feel can only be addressed by critical technological intervention.”

“We all know that Germany is the king of disruptive technology, and this time is ripe for an amalgamation of German technology and Indian productivity,” he added.
 
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