Hon Lawrence Macaulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, Canada speaks about how India and Canada can work together in the food sector
Your comments on India Canada bilateral ties.
India is a priority market for Canada and our respective countries enjoy strong bilateral commercial relations. Agricultural trade, with emphasis on lentils and yellow peas, is an important part of our trading relationship. Canada is looking to further deepen our trade and investment relationship with India, including through the ongoing Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations. An ambitious CEPA would enhance our growing bilateral trade relationship in a variety of sectors, including agriculture and agri-food.
How can the two countries work together in the food sector?
There are many potential opportunities for further growth. The size of the trade relationship as well as recent scientific and technological advances means Canadian and Indian farmers and companies have a range of options for working together, in terms of technology transfers and in terms of advancement in Indian agriculture.
Continued investment in biotechnology, knowledge sharing and other scientific advancements are some of the areas of cooperation that would support India’s agricultural modernisation initiatives and advance its food processing sector.
For example, AG Growth International, based in Winnipeg, is working with India to establish modern grain storage systems that will prevent spoilage and wastage. This and similar cooperation initiatives will benefit both countries.
Are Canadian companies looking to invest in India’s food sector? What is the amount of investments they are looking at?
Yes, AG Growth International, for instance, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is working with India to establish modern grain storage systems that will prevent spoilage and wastage. For more details and examples, please consult with the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
How can the two countries collaborate towards sustainable growth in the food sector?
It is estimated that world demand for food will grow by at least 50 per cent by 2050. Innovation as well as new agricultural practices will help both countries face concerns regarding resource usage and environmental responsibility. Canada and India can work together in areas of agricultural innovation, including exchanging information on technological advances which can deliver solutions that increase production with fewer resources; and safeguard the environment through new crop varieties that resist pests and drought.
India is in the process of setting up Mega Food Parks. How can Canada contribute to this development?
Canada has the expertise and technological capability to support India’s initiative to further develop its food processing sector through cold storage solutions and transportation infrastructure. The regional food-processing centres or ‘Mega Food Parks’ could provide a platform for further discussion and possible collaboration between our respective experts. The Government of Canada welcomes and encourages business to business cooperation.