Punjab is being considered a progressive agricultural state : Harsimrat Kaur Badal
NEW DELHI(N4C Desk)-Upholding the importance of agriculture and food processing and the need to increase production of maize in the country Ms. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, informed that her Ministry was encouraging the State Governments to amend the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.
While inaugurating the third edition of ‘India Maize Summit 2015’ on the theme ‘Developing India as an Export Hub for Maize in South East Asia’, Ms. Badal said though Punjab is being considered a progressive agricultural state, the emergence of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in enhanced production of maize is commendable. Hence, it was time for states to learn and share their best practices with each other in order to raise the average production of maize in the country which was at present much below the world average.
Speaking on export opportunities of maize, she said that there was a big market for export which could be tapped with the right infrastructure, technology upgradation, know-how and seamless value chain. Ms. Badal added that it was also necessary to diversify from wheat and rice to maize as it could provide great nutritional value at an affordable price to the malnourished population of India.
She also urged the stakeholders to share the suggestions and recommendations made during the Summit with her Ministry to enable it to better understand the issues faced by the industry and accordingly look for ways to resolve them.
Mr. Samir Shah, MD & CEO, NCDEX, said that there has been strategic development in the agriculture sector such as the proposal of setting up National Agri Market which is bound to make the sector efficient and structured, development of warehousing sector which has enabled the producers to store the agricultural produce in favorable conditions and sell it according to market pricing, adoption of market practices thus helping in modernizing the agri sector and various forward looking initiatives both by the state governments and Central agencies.
Highlighting the way forward for the maize sector Ms. Shilpa Divekar Nirula, CEO, Monsanto, India Region, said that vision and policy for maize, coordination amongst various ministries, all round development, value chain integration and forging partnership and collaborations were some of the critical areas that must be focused on to enhance the production and export of maize.
Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that maize holds a place of importance in both agriculture and food processing hence it was necessary to enhance its production considerably and the Public Private Partnership for Integrated Agriculture Development (PPPIAD) programme has been a step in this direction. The programme helped in directly connecting with the farmers, providing them with well-planned training and engaging them actively to employ new technology and best practices to augment the production of maize. He added that FICCI stands committed and supports the endeavour of making maize one of the core crops in the country.