Netherlands is looking at joint venture partners in the easten and north-easten states for collaborations in sectors like food processing, food retailing, floriculture, horticulture, among others.
Hans Wolff, agriculture counsellor, embassy of Netherlands in India at the Agro Protech 2009, said, "The East and North-East states in India have growth potential in food processing and related sectors, and Netherlands being one of the global leaders in these sectors, can become investment or joint-venture partners with interested companies."
"But India needs to improve its product quality, maintain international food safety standards, and enhance infrastructure and logistics facilities in order to become a globally competitive player in agro and food industries," Wolff added.
Present at the seminar, Naren De, minister for agriculture, government of West Bengal, backed the initiative mooted by the Netherlands Embassy.
De, however, emphasised on a proper strategy to attain a 4-5 per cent growth in the agriculture sector in the short to medium term. "Hybrid, high-yielding seeds and other modern agricultural technology inputs must reach the farmers, and a second green revolution is the call of the hour," De said.
Also, availability of proper irrigation facilities and reduction in dependence on rainwater for ensuring efficient agricultural productivity was another requirement.
Anisur Rahaman, minister-in-charge, panchayats and rural development, government of West Bengal, called for an efficient public distribution system. Rahman said West Bengal, and also India as a whole, needs to have the active participation of the private sector, and more PPPs and JVs for enhancing agricultural production and productivity, and establishing the necessary national and international market linkages.