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Africa seeks Indian help in food processing, farming

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Indian investments and knowhow are crucially important for boosting farm sector growth and ensuring food sufficiency in Africa region, senior ministers of several African countries said Monday.

Mozambique's Minister of Agriculture Jose Pacheco said a huge arable land in African countries was left unutilised due to lack of financing and knowhow.

Giving an example of his own country, Pacheco said only 15 percent of the 36 million hectares of arable land in Mozambique were utilised for farming.

"We need technical support and also finance. India has both and we request Indian entrepreneurs and firms to come and help us," said Cameroon's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Essimi Menye.

The ministers were speaking at India-Africa Project Partnership conclave here.

Seven heads of state or government, more than 80 senior ministers and parliamentarians are part of the 900 delegates from 45 African countries participating at the three-day event being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Export-Import Bank of India.

Tanzania's deputy minister for agriculture and food security Adam Malima said India's cooperation was crucially important to ensure food security in the African region.

Malima urged Indian entrepreneurs to invest in Tanzania through joint ventures and partnership with local firms.

Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Cote d'Ivoire, said apart from agriculture, the other areas of cooperation between India and Africa should be infrastructure, mining and technology.

Duncan said Ivorian government was taking key steps to enhance the country's peace and security, national reconciliation and economic recovery, creating a highly favourable destination for global investors, especially from India.



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