India’s agro exports to US surge but needs help in food processing

IACC now has new chapter in Jaipur

Jaipur, Nov 28: India has become one of the biggest agricultural exporters to US. In the last two decades, India has increased its overall agricultural exports to 800 percent but needs to do more in the food processing sector where US can help with its expertise.

This was stated by Scott Sindelar, Minister Counsellor agriculture affairs in the US embassy in New Delhi addressing the Jaipur chapter of the newly formed IACC’s Northern India council (NIC) at the SMS Convention Centre.

Sindelar said: “India’s agriculture export to USA is $ five billion and India imports only $ one billion worth of agriculture products-mostly almonds from US. But there is enough to be done in food processing and nutrition where US can really help the food processing sector. India uses only 12 percent of its agro produce for the purpose of food processing and it should do something to increase it manifold.”

Sindelar said as India’s is a fast emerging economy it should look at the agriculture sector for higher farm output and this could be attained by building infrastructure like cold chains and warehouses where the food could be preserved thus reducing the wastage, which are very high now.

In the past decade, India has emerged as a major agricultural exporter, with exports climbing from just over $5 billion in 2003 to a record of more than $39 billion in 2013. India became the world’s seventh-largest exporter of agricultural products in 2013, surpassing Australia.

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) that has been playing a pivotal role in engaging high profile policy makers from India and US is now keen to focus on strategic economic, trade and business relationship on agriculture with United States.

The IACC’s North India Council chose the subject of robust economic growth and commercial cooperation in the area of agriculture and food processing for better use of its farm output besides other important sector like IT, solar, textile, apparels, infrastructure and manufacture which attracts Rajasthan a going tie up avenue.

He said the food procession industry should go for nutritional products as India suffers from large scale malnutrition problem and the producers of nutritional food with vitamins and proteins will have a good market.

The Director General of the National Institute of Agriculture Marketing (NIAM), Irina Garg stressed on the need of institutional tie-ups for sharing knowledge in the area of agriculture marketing.

Dr Lalit Bhasin, the chairman of the IACC’s northern regions in his introductory remark said that the new chapter formed at Jaipur would help the exporters of Rajasthan.

Sanjay Mehta, regional vice president of IACC-NIC said Rajasthan is an upcoming economy and in years to come it would be a big industrial and business destination and would complete with Karnataka ,Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Gyan Prakash, advisor of IACC, Jaipur chapter said that the new chapter with Sanjeev Bali MD of Mount Shivalik as the chairman would promote bilateral trade, investment, economic relations and facilitate joint ventures and marketing.

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