Netherlands to participate as partner in Global Potato Conclave 2020 in Gujarat

Ahmedabad:India has full potential to become the food factory of the world like China has become the global manufacturing factory,’ Agricultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Netherlands in India, Siebe Schuur today said.

Talking to newsmen here Schuur, who is leading the official delegation of his country for the three day Global Potato Conclave 2020 to be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar from tomorrow, said that the key to making India a food factory for the world lies in providing micro finance, latest know-how and best practices to the farmers of the country. He said that earlier the investors across the globe preferred China but as the growth there has saturated, now India has become the most preferred destination for them. India would see a surge in foreign investment in the days to come.

To a query he said that the total export of the Dutch agricultural machinery sector last year was 10 billion Euro and for the first time Netherlands exceeded the 100 billion Euro threshold in total agricultural exports in 2019. Potato was third most important food crop after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. The global potato production was around 388 million tons.

Director of the leading Dutch Agri produce storage solution company Omnivent, Errol Van Groenewoud, on the occasion, said that India was the second largest producer of Potato in the world with around 48 million tons after China but around 35 to 40% of the produce was wasted due to the lack of proper storage facilities. Around 50% of it could be saved easily by creating such facilities. He also stressed on the need for creating a robust chain of production, storage and processing for potato and other such agri produces in India including fruits.

Director of one of the world’s largest Food Processing Equipment making company, the Netherlands based Kiremko, Paul Oosterlaken said that many of the companies in agri processing sector were contemplating to set up manufacturing units in India. Some of these might soon begin the process in this regard. He said that Gujarat which was fourth largest potato producing state in India with 3.8 million tons (UP being the first), was ahead in processing processes from all other states and it should be replicated elsewhere also. The production of potato in Gujarat per hectare was around 38 to 40 tons against the pan India average figure of 22 tons per hectare. He said that companies in Agri sector were also willing to set up plants in India due to much better availability of technically skilled manpower in the country.

He said that the potential for expansion of food processing industry in India could be understood by the fact that Netherland which produces 7 million tons of potato have 70% of it of processing quality while that in India was only 6 percent.

Notably, the Global Potato Conclave 2020 is being organized by the Indian Potato Association , Shimla in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi and the Central Potato Research Institute of the council. Altogether 17 companies from the Netherlands were participating in the conclave.

Trade and Investment Commissioner of The Netherlands Business Support Office here Amlan Bora said that the Dutch companies participating in the event would showcase the best and the most recent developments in the Potato value chain and contribute to further develop the sector in India.


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