Vancouver:Canada India Agriculture and Food Processing Forum 2012 is the 3rd in the series of high profile thematic public policy forums organized by Canada India Foundation (CIF), (www.canadaindia.org). CIF is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 2007 by Indo-Canadian entrepreneurs and professionals to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India.
The choice of themes for the Forums was based on the respective strengths, needs, opportunities and challenges for Canada and India. The first two Forums addressed the sectors of En
ergy (2009) and Mining (2010). We were fortunate to have strong delegations from India and Canada, including Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, Canada, and several industry leaders from private sector. Both Forums concluded with a series of specific policy recommendations which were presented to the two governments. It is noteworthy that the principal recommendation from the Energy Forum, i.e., the conclusion of a civil nuclear agreement between Canada and India, became a reality shortly after the Forum. The successes of the Forums and the positive feedback have been instrumental in the organization of the Canada India Agriculture and Food Processing Forum 2012.
The issue of food security is increasingly crucial with continued food price volatility across the globe. Globally, more than 925 million people were hungry in 2011. By 2030, population of India will approach 1.5 billion with resulting pressures for more food, water, energy and goods. As a result, by 2030 India will have to increase its food grain production by about 4% annual growth rate with yield increases from 1750 kg/ha today to 2900 kg/ha in 2030. India is ready to face these challenges and not only looks to alleviate domestic poverty but to also contribute to global food security.
India plays a dominant role in global food production including staples like wheat, maize and rice. India, along with China, is one of the largest producers of wheat and rice in the world. Their production and productivity growth have a major impact on global food security. India is also a leading producer of high value commodities like milk (107 million tons/yr), vegetables (132 million tons/yr) and fruits (68.5 million tons/yr.). With increasing demand for more complex diets across the developed world and the dramatic shift from grain-based to animal protein diets, investment opportunities in these agricultural sub-sectors are increasing and attracting increasing levels of investment capital.
The agriculture sector in India is in transition from traditional to business-based largely through increasing private sector participation in retail of agri-produce, direct procurement from farmers, contract farming, changing policy discourse and creating new models of farm to fork supply chain. The rising potential in agriculture and India’s key role in combating food insecurity has attracted global players like Canada and it is in this context that the Canada India Agriculture and Food Processing Forum 2012 is being organized.
The Canada India Agriculture and Food Processing Forum is being organized in two Canadian cities, in provinces which are crucial to the growth in Agriculture and Food Processing trade with India. The Province of British Columbia will be the presenting sponsor for the first two days of the Forum, scheduled to take place on September 11-12 at the Pinnacle Marriott Downtown Hotel in Vancouver, BC. The Forum then moves to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the conclusion of the Forum, on September 12-13. The Province of Saskatchewan, jointly with the University of Saskatchewan, will be the presenting sponsor in Saskatoon.
The following topics will constitute the Agenda for the Forum:
• Food Security
• Investment and Trade
• Food Processing
• Family Farms and Cooperatives
• Logistics and Supply Chain
• Cash Crops and Value Added Products
• Technology and Productivity Enablers
• Fertilizers and Micronutrients
• Current Opportunities/Challenges in Bi-lateral Trade
• Going-Forward Recommendations
In addition to the sessions, which will be held in a panel discussion format, there will be two dinner events (September 10 in Vancouver and September 12 in Saskatoon), with featured guest speakers. Special arrangements have also been made for site visits to augment the discussions. The Agenda for the Forum is attached
Following the initial announcement of the Forum late last year in India by the Premier of British Columbia, Ms. Christy Clark, we have had extensive discussions with the Government of India, as well as the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat regarding participation. A strong delegation from India is expected to include the representatives from Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra including members of India’ Planning Commission, which is responsible of all aspects of the country’s long term planning. An equally strong level of participation from Canada at the federal, provincial, private sector and academic levels is also being organized. The full list of speakers/participants is expected to be finalized shortly.
We are pleased to inform you that a strong Indian delegation to the Forum is being put together with the help of the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, India, and the Canadian Consulate in Chandigarh, India as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Planning Commission, Government of India and the High Commission of India in Canada.
Chair, Canada India Foundation