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India-New Zealand to strengthen co-operation in Agriculture

New Delhi: Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture, met Shri Grahame Morton, High Commissioner of New Zealand, here today. Minister stated that the relations between the two countries have been traditionally friendly which is exemplified by the fact that there have been regular visits at the highest level from both the sides. In the recent past, Indian Commerce & Industry Minister visited New Zealand in May, 2011. Prime Minister of New Zealand, Shri John Key accompanied with Trade Minister Shri Tim Groser paid a state visit to India in June, 2011. This was followed by a visit of Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Meira Kumar April, 2012 in which Shri Radha Mohan Singh was member, Shri Singh said. Minister said that though a number of bilateral agreements have been signed in different domains of agriculture and allied sectors, there is no formal institutional framework of cooperation in the priority areas at the country level. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation on Plant Quarantine Issues was signed in 1999. Minister said that India would like to cooperate and learn from the experience of New Zealand in the areas of livestock, processing, cold chain management, animal breeding and germ plasm exchange of apple, cherry etc., as well as kiwi cultivation and its post-harvest management and protected cultivation of high value crops. Shri Singh said that many New Zealand’s companies are interested in working with India in harvesting, grading, storage, transportation and marketing of agricultural produce in India. Besides, these, there is also scope for cooperation in the rejuvenation of India’s marketing and distribution, including food safety and bio-security. Minister said that the grasslands in New Zealand are of more animal carrying capacity as compared to India. India would like to learn from New Zealand’s experience and expertise in the field through regular exchange programme by way of visit of experts and training programmes on grassland development. India would also have interest in scientific exchanges in the field of pasture management. Shri Singh said that India would like to explore the possibility of cooperation in this field to acquire the processing technology available in New Zealand and their promotion in the Indian agriculture. It is expected that with such vast scope for collaboration and cooperation between the two countries in the agriculture and allied sector, India would be benefitted from expertise and experience of your country and at the same time this would also open business opportunity for New Zealand Government and entrepreneurs.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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