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Amarinder seeks Dutch expertise for farm diversification in Punjab

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday discussed a series of measures with the Netherlands ambassador to India for promotion of farm diversification in the state.

Dairy, animal husbandry and floriculture were some of the key areas in which the two sides agreed to explore cooperation, along with promotion of piggery and goatery, an official spokesperson disclosed after a luncheon meeting between the Chief Minister and a Dutch delegation, led by Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga.

The CM sought from the Netherland exchange embryo transfer technology and supply sexed semen doses to improve the quality of livestock for improving and augmenting milk production by dairy animals.

He suggested establishment of units by leading Dutch milk processing companies in order to supplement the income of Punjab’s farmers, said the spokesperson.

The CM deputed additional chief secretary (ACS), development, as nodal officer to coordinate with the Dutch embassy to chalk out a comprehensive action plan on the various issues discussed during the meeting.

Amarinder also suggested constitution of an expert group comprising a representative from the Netherlands embassy, along with ACS animal husbandry and ACS development, to further action upon the proposals.

The proposed group would be tasked with suggesting ways and means to implement farm diversification, and to recommend a viable technology for scientific disposal of stubble or other bio-wastes after studying the prevalent practices followed in the Netherlands.

Concerned over the high sugar content in the local produce of potatoes, the CM asked the visiting Ambassador to explore collaboration with some eminent potato growers and researchers to improve the quality of the produce.

The Dutch Ambassador assured Amarinder of full support and cooperation in the state’s efforts to promote crop diversification. Pointing out that a Dutch company – Royal De Hues – had already set up a facility to produce cattle and animal feed at Rajpura, he requested the CM for incentives to enhance the production capacity of the existing plant and expansion of operations into other parts of the state.

The CM assured the visiting delegation that he would personally take up the issue of starting special air cargo flights from the Amritsar and Mohali international airports the Netherlands for facilitating mutual trade between in flowers, fruits, vegetables, dairy products etc.