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UP to explore contract farming in Russia to benefit state farmers

State preparing roadmap to harness Russia's land, natural resources after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit in Vladivostok

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Yogi Adityanath. Photo: PTI
Yogi Adityanath. Photo: PTI

Targeting to hit the ambitious trillion-dollar economy mark by 2024, has started to look beyond the state and boundaries to faraway Russia.

The state government has mooted the proposal of contract farming by UP entrepreneurs in Russian Far East regions, which have abundant land, but are sparsely populated to exploit the available natural resources. The state is looking to create an agricultural value chain to benefit the state farmers and entrepreneurs.

Chief minister had recently (11-13 Aug) visited the city of Vladivostok, Russia as part of the Indian delegation led by union commerce minister Piyush Goyal and comprising CMs of UP, Gujarat, Goa and Haryana.

Upon his return from Russia, the CM convened a meeting of senior officials, instructing them to prepare a roadmap for harnessing the natural resources and other business opportunities offered by Russian Far East in the fields of contract farming, mechanised farming, food processing and energy.

In the meeting, he said Russia offered unlimited avenues for the state entrepreneurs for investment in agriculture, contract farming, dairy, animal husbandry and allied activities. In his directive, Adityanath stressed the roadmap be drafted for each of these verticals for boosting economic activities but also creating employment for the state youth, including farmers.

“We are looking at the prospects of entrepreneurs from UP taking up land in Russia for mechanised and contract farming. The state agencies will facilitate such activities with policy and other support,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told Business Standard here today.

He further added such farm related activities were also aimed at boosting the food processing industry in UP. The land could be either leased or procured outright.

In his media briefing earlier, Adityanath had stated that Russian Far East had about 5 million hectares of agriculture grade land, however, most of it was fallow due to lack of manpower and modern farm techniques.

Underscoring that the Russian region was also rich in mineral resources, including coal, diamond, natural gas, timber etc, he observed the target of doubling farmers’ income could well be achieved by diversifying into food processing and other allied activities, such as dairy.

During the Russia visit, 7 government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-business (B2B) memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed with Russia in diverse fields. It included a G2G MoU with Russia’s Zabaykalasky Krai for cooperation in farming and food processing.

Meanwhile, Adityanath had also invited Russian entrepreneurs to invest in proposed UP Defence Corridor, which is projected to attract investment of Rs 20,000 crore. In fact, the state government will soon send a high level delegation to Russia to discuss investment and trade possibilities.

The Indian delegation to Russia had comprised about 190 members, including 145 entrepreneurs. The Russian delegation comprising 200 members consisted of their deputy prime minister, ministers and entrepreneurs.

Last month, Israeli Ambassador Ron Malka had met Adityanath, wherein the CM discussed possibilities of cooperation in the domains of agriculture, water conservation and recharging, drinking water, water recycling, irrigation, food processing etc. The CM mooted Israeli collaboration in agricultural management, agro marketing, industrialisation, irrigation, crop management, skill development, dairy, infra development, inland waterways, expressways etc, so that UP could derive optimum benefit.

First Published: Sat, August 17 2019. 13:55 IST