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India seeks bilateral agri-cooperation with France
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 07-12-10
      India and France on December 6 have signed a Letter of Intent for bilateral Cooperation between the two countries during the visit of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural Affairs and Spatial Planning of the Republic of France. Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Food Processing Industries said on the occasion that France is ranked 5th in the list of India’s trading partner among EU countries.

      Sahai while welcoming his French counterpart Le Maire, said that India has achieved self-sufficiency in production of cereals and milk through the Green Revolution and the White Revolution. India is now moving into a second Green Revolution with a focus on the food processing sector. India produces 10% of world’s fruit and 13% of vegetable, Sahai said. After IT and Biotech, India is set to witness the next revolution in the Food Processing Industry. The Government of India has set an investment target of around Rs. 1 lakh crore by 2015 in the Food Processing Sector. The sector is expected to grow by 20% and value-addition to increase by 35% by 2015, the Minister emphasised.

      The research in food processing technology could be an important area of cooperation between the two countries as the levels of food processing are far higher in France as compared to India. France could identify their premier institutes conducting research in the field so that Indian counterparts can be identified for exchange of ideas. The specialties of the French industries in cultivating the specific variety of standard size of vegetables for the purpose of canning and bottling are well known internationally. The exchange of the information and technology in this field would be of immense help to the industries in India, Shri Sahai emphasised. Sahai stressed France to be a partner in this vital sector of India’s economy.

      The French Minister highlighted that the import duties levied by the Indian government are a major impediment in improving trade between the two countries. Both countries would have to sort out this issue in near future.

      India is the 13th largest investor in France. There are about 90 Indian companies in France and have invested in IT, Phamaceuticals, plastic industry, auto parts, etc.

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