Mumbai: “Maharashtra’s per day milk production has risen from 80,000 litres to 7.5 lakh litres paving the way for farmers to have an alternate source of livelihood, making it a potential sector for further development. India being the highest milk producing country in the world employs 8.5 million workers in livestock activities, making its performance quite impressive. Our state ranks first in buffalo population in the world, second in cattle and goat and third in sheep. Considering the potential this sector has, I invite the Polish government to consider investments and exchange of technology know-how, to bring about a revolution in the dairy sector which is in keeping with the governments aims to start a dairy development programme with the National Dairy Development Board by which 2000 villages of 11 districts will be benefitted”, said the Mr. Mahadev Jankar, Hon’ble Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Department, Government of Maharashtra during an interactive session with the delegates of Poland at the World Trade Centre Mumbai jointly organised by World Trade Centre Mumbai and All India Association of Industries.
Addressing the issue on farmers suicides in Maharashtra the Minister said, the proposed investment would avert the suicides as it would ‘provide an alternative means of income in case of a crop failure due to climatic conditions. Our government has already approved indigenous cow enhancement centre through our state and has initiated cage culture fishing which will create approximately one lakh employment”. Further he added, “We are working towards equipping each farmer with five cattle, 10 goats, a small poultry and a fish pond aiming to provide an alternative financial means of livelihood. In keeping with the ease of doing business, our department will launch one window system to bring speedy clearances of proposals and transparency”.
Mr. Jaroslaw Olowski, Deputy President of Agricultural Market Agency, Poland said, “During 2015, bilateral trade amounted to US$2.2 billion. We have the expertise to handle 95 percent of our food processing requirements while India only handles 10%, which holds scope for Polish collaboration in this area. Polish apples are world famous and we supply one crore apples every year to India, while India can consider increasing mango exports”, He further added, We are here to understand the Indian markets, its distribution channels, products and policies of India to strengthen trade which will be combined with sales, besides, exchange of culture activities between Poland and India.
Speaking about the strengths of agriculture, dairy and animal husbandry sectors of Poland, Mr. Olowski said, “Poland is number one in poultry, number two in milk, number three in beef, number four in pork, number five in fruit, number six in vegetables and number seven in honey employing cutting-edge technology, high capacity, high efficiency which can cater to Indian tastes.
H.E. Tomasz Lubaszuk, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland who helped facilitated the event said that Poland looks forward to augment ties with India especially in agriculture and food processing sectors. The embassy lends support to Indian businesses to set up base in Poland and vice-versa and can be contacted for all assistance. There is great potential for culture and touristic exchanges which is proven from the fact that in the last 5 years, 8 Bollywood films were shot in Poland, opening further scope, said Mr. Lubaszuk.
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai & President of All India Association of Industries in his inaugural remarks said, “India’s bilateral trade with Poland has grown almost 7 fold over the last 10 years and India has invested US$ 3 billion in Poland making it one of the most important countries to engage in business. The central and union government has sanctioned a reasonable budget for agriculture which must be optimally used, keeping in mind the welfare of the farmers and the agriculture community. He raised concerns that as much as 40 per cent of agri-products perish before reaching to the market. This is where we need Polish expertise to develop the food processing and warehousing technologies. He further added that the farmer does not get his due share in the agriculture revenue and we need to develop a proper chain wherein farmers, agriculturalist and horticulturists are equally benefitted doing away with the middlemen.
Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai proposed the vote of thanks summing up the event. Recognizing the strengths of Polish agriculture and dairy industries, he said, Poland had grown since it acquired democratic status especially in the agriculture sector. 47 per cent of the land is utilized for agriculture and 30 per cent is under forest cover. The other sectors where India could look for collaborations are in tourism, mining, defence, chemicals, rubber, plastic, heavy machinery, readymade cotton garments, iron & steel etc.
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