Embassy, Consulate-General, Consulates and NBSO's, India

My India 2: Dutch expertise in agriculture

In the series: "My India", ambassador Stoelinga writes about 'his' India. This month he talks about dutch expertise in agriculture.

When I arrived in New Delhi four months ago, the Embassy driver saw my first name in my passport and said: “mr Ambassador, I have to inform you that your first name Alphonsus is the name of a mango variety in India. Luckily enough for you it’s one of our best mangos.”

Actually, I came to use the mango as a symbol for an activity on which India and the Netherlands are working together to our mutual benefit. In the Netherlands no mangos are grown, but the Dutch consumer can find mangos in the supermarket all year long. Mangos are being imported from Brazil, Egypt, Mali, India and other countries. An effective and efficient supply chain with cold storage capacities brings the mangos crispy fresh over thousands of miles onto the dish of Dutch families.

As the economy of India is growing at a high pace, consumer demand in the country is equally increasing in quantity and quality. There is an enormous need for supply chain infrastructure, for cold storage capacity and supply chain management. At the moment a very high percentage (up to 30%) of fruits, vegetables, chicken, meat and eggs are lost at some point or at some moment in the supply chain in India.

Recently parliament in New Delhi approved Foreign Direct Investment in multibrand retail and many huge supermarket chains are expected to invest heavily in India. It is clear that for those supermarkets to function, the supply chain infrastructure will have to be boosted.

Take meat: the government of India decided to bring the daily intake of animal protein from 10 to 20 gramme per capita per day. Consequently the average per capita meat consumption in the country will increase rapidly. The government also decided to modernise the abattoir capacity in the country in order to bring it into line with international hygiene standards. Together with the Indian authorities the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi agreed to set up a train-the trainers-course in meat processing for participants from municipalities and universities. Also a modern abattoir will be built in Uttar Pradesh, serving as a centre of excellence inspiring and motivating other such investments around the country.

This reflects the way we engage with stakeholders in the agriculture sector and indeed in other sectors in India. The objective is to promote collaboration between the Dutch and Indian private sector, in close cooperation with the Indian and Dutch authorities.
Apart from the agriculture sector (agro-food and horticulture) the Netherlands focuses on eight other sectors for enhancing its business relations with India: water and water knowledge, logistics, creative industry, energy, life-sciences and health, chemicals, high tech systems and promotion of investments from India in the Netherlands. For more information: www.businessguideindia.nl