The relationship between India and the US can be boosted further with increased teamwork in the agriculture and food processing sector, Arkansas State Governor Asa Hutchinson declared.

Being a part of the webinar ‘India- Arkansas Partnership: Food Processing, Logistics and Manufacturing’, Hutchinson told that trade opportunities in India and Arkansas, and cooperation in them would be advantageous for both economies.

“We have laid a prodigious establishment for the future based on our commitment to democracy, our mutual fondness for entrepreneurship, business and trade,” informed Hutchinson.

The GoI hosted webinar was also attended by the Secretary of Food Processing Industries in India, Pushpa Subrahmanyam and the Consul General of India in Houston Aseem R Mahajan.

Recalling his Oct.’19 visit to India, Hutchinson said- “We met many firms ranging from textile to steel to technology, during our “Incredible India visit”.”

“Agriculture serves as the most vital economic driver for us, food processing is natural for us, followed by the steel industry. We have major steel mills including Nucor-Yamato Steel Company, Big River Steel,” he further added.

“The aerospace and defense industry too majorly contribute to our economy. Aerojet Rocketdyne, Dassault Falcon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Missile Systems, and big companies like Walmart and Tyson that have significant investment and collaboration in India are situated here,” he said.

Hutchison also mentioned the “energetic and noteworthy Indian-American community in Arkansas who oil the wheels in all major sectors, particularly medicine, education.”

Consul General Mahajan mentioned- “We deeply value Governor Hutchinson’s attempt to bolster the economic ties due to which 8 major Indian companies have invested over USD 392 million in Arkansas creating around 1,700 jobs in areas such as IT, manufacturing and engineering. The aim of today’s webinar is to emphasize the enormous capabilities and opportunities for companies in both countries to invest and build bounteous partnerships for mutual profit.”

Highlighting the prospects of food processing industry in India, Secretary Subrahmanyam stated-“Food processing is one among the titlist sectors in India with policy shifts like fast track investments by fiscal, measures to remove bottlenecks, and a better facilitating environment.”

She added- “Today is a pivotal moment in the Food processing industry, we are introducing a 2nd wave of relaxation in the country, the agriculture sector is liberated from regulations, loosening the marketing ecosystem, adopting contract farming in India and abolishing sealing on storage for agriculture commodities.”

Last week, the GoI introduced three bill — The Farmers Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities Bill 2020 – acclaiming that they will dramatically alter the farming sector.

These bills allow the sale of agricultural products outside the mandis (under the control of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees), provide suggestions for contract farming and deregulate the production and supply of food items like cereals, pulses, potatoes, onion and edible oilseeds.

India’s immense food surplus providing opportunities for their re-processing into new products using fortified mechanisms, improved technology and enhanced nutritional attributes are the factors attracting investments in the country,” she informed.

“We hope that investments from Arkansas and the US will become more intensified enabling us to create stronger cooperative roles with the assistance of the Food Processing Ministry,” Subrahmanyam spoke.

Other attendees of the webinar include- Secretary of Commerce & AEDC Executive Director Michael Preston from Arkansas; Principal Secretary Industries ofMaharashtra, Venugopal Reddy; Principal Secretary Industries of Punjab, Alok Shekhar; MD and CEO of Invest India Deepak Bagla; VP, corporate affairs, Americas, Mahindra Group, Ridhika Batra; senior director of Tyson Foods, Todd Menotti.

 

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