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There is tremendous potential to expand trade cooperation with India and create new opportunities for farmers, a senior minister from Canada said today. Oneil Carlier, Agriculture and Forestry Minister of Alberta, Canada, said India is one of the world's largest and most diverse markets and one where he believes there is tremendous growth potential for Alberta's "high-quality food and agricultural products". "Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world.
Quite a lot of barley is grown in Alberta. There are 1,700 barley producers growing 2.4 ton per year," Carlier said, speaking at the 6th 'Agro Protech 2018', organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here. Alberta can provide expertise in food processing technology, biotechnology, energy efficiency, food packaging, and food safety practices, he said. West Bengal Law and Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, who was also present on the occasion, said the state had taken up agriculture as a priority sector, and provides all necessary support to increase farmers' income through better market and value addition to their produce. "For decades, farmers in Bengal have had little or no say in choosing markets or buyers for selling their produce," he said. The Mamata Banerjee government has introduced various schemes like the kisan credit card and kisan bazar to help farmers with financial support against low interest. "More bank branches will be opened in the rural areas to provide long-term low interest loans to the farmers," West Bengal Cooperation Minister Arup Roy said. Prof Swapan Dutta, Agricultural Scientist and former Pro Vice Chancellor, Viswa Bharati University, said that production of crops in India is being challenged by increasing population, lack of land for cultivation, volatile prices, environmental concerns and rising expectations from consumers.
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