Leading players in agro-industry on Friday pitched for providing value addition to agricultural produce in order to ensure remunerative returns for farmers.
The consensus on the issue emerged during the session, 'Agri & Food Processing Session-Punjab: Value Addition to Agri Economy' session on the final day of Progressive Punjab Investor Summit-2019.
The delegates also underscored the need to lay special focus on the processing of fruits, vegetables, animals and meat, besides developing logistics and cold chains. They stressed the need to process the agro-wastes to avoid environmental degradation, and thereby achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture.
On the occasion, an MoU was signed between Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and California State University, Fresno for undertaking research collaboration and student exchange in the field of agriculture and food processing.
Earlier, Punjab Additional Chief Secretary, Development, Viswajeet Khanna underlined the need to motivate farmers to adopt smart farming technologies, micro irrigation and use of recycled, processed, treated waste-water for irrigation purposes.
Outlining strengths of the state's agriculture sector, Khanna said Punjab was the sixth largest milk producer in India, with 32.5 million litres daily production.
It ranked second in Mandarin orange (kinnow) yield, accounting for 24 per cent of the country's total production, as well as third in honey accounting for 15 per cent of total output and 21 per cent of total honey exports from India.
Khanna further pointed out Punjab had an extensive network of infrastructure, production, storage and marketing, with dedicated Research Centres like PAU, fruit research station Bahadurgarh, Patiala, and Jallowal, Hoshiarpur.
He invited the private players to explore the tremendous opportunities offered by the state to develop agro-industry, and to forge collaborations with PAU for research.
Chairman of Punjab State Farmers' Commission Ajay Vir Jakhar strongly advocated improvement in the Indo-Pak relations, which would ultimately benefit the Punjabi farmers and facilitate export of their agricultural produce like fruit, vegetables and dairy products to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan etc.
This move will be instrumental in opening new vistas of export potential for agri-products from Punjab in Central Asia, thereby transforming the destiny of the state' farmers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)