Sunday, 9 February 2014

President of India inaugurates Asia-Africa Agribusiness Forum

President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Asia-Africa AgriBusiness Forum on February 4, 2014 at FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi. 

Speaking on the occasion, the President said “one billion people, representing fourteen per cent of the global population, is still afflicted by hunger. Asia and Africa account for most of them. 

This cannot continue any further. Food production has to proceed in a business-unusual manner; on a war footing”. 

The President said a shift in focus towards the development of horticultural crops and food processing industry can provide the impetus necessary for the overall growth of the agricultural sector. Africa has tremendous scope for benefiting from the development of the food processing industry. 

India can provide training in post harvest management of different crops and provide assistance in developing packaging technology in line with world standards. India has requisite expertise for each level of the value chain and can assist African countries in developing the same. 

Access to agriculture markets and finance as well as greater public private partnership in agri-business and the food processing sectors in Asia and Africa are essential to unleash their potential. 

The President said there is need to introspect why despite availability of agricultural labour and sizeable arable land many Asian and African countries have witnessed spiralling food prices. The challenge is to translate the woes into business opportunities. 

There is need for both the continents to overcome the challenges through symbiotic associations. Partnerships must aim at developing the agri-business sector into an efficient business enterprise capable of competing in other international markets. 

He said it is heartening to note that the agenda of the business forum includes forging new business partnerships, sharing best practices and new technologies, and exploring project finance and funding options. 

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