Amid the growing focus on modernisation of agriculture to make it more sustainable and progressive for the farmers, Amarinder Singh- led government is set to leverage the upcoming Progressive Punjab Investors Summit (PPIS) 2019 to reach out to some of the world’s leading FMCG companies for partnering the state in boosting the sector.

The summit comes at a time when the agriculture sector is in the limelight over the air pollution caused by stubble burning, and the state government is going all out to promote mechanization to get rid of the paddy straw.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is extending full support to the Punjab government in its efforts to build and strengthen a more sustainable agri sector.

An official spokesperson said PPIS2019 will serve as a platform to promote new initiatives and adoption of technologies for the betterment of the Agri sector through the adoption of clean agri practices.

It will aim to enhance farmer incomes and helping them move up the value chain. The summit will also help garner support for the agri-focused startups that have come up in large numbers in the state over the past couple of years and have proved their merit at international platforms for their unique digital and sustainable agriculture solutions.

Top agri players like ITC, Godrej Tyson, Hariyalee Seeds, Spain’s Congelados De Navarra and IFFCO have confirmed their participation in the summit, which will highlight the potential opportunities of growth in this sector as well as the strengths of the Punjab ecosystem.

Spain’s Congelados De Navarra and IFFCO have, in fact, already entered a JV to set up their 1st food processing facility outside Europe. With a committed investment of INR 523cr, the venture is set to support ~10,000 farmers and procure 150,000 Tonnes from farmers every year.

Steering this positivity in the sector is Punjab’s Industrial and Business Development 2017 Policy, which identifies Agri and Food Processing as thrust sectors and offers liberal incentives.

The state offers a strong infra ecosystem to facilitate the growth of the Food Processing plants through the 3 Mega Food Parks at Fazilka, Ludhiana (Ladhowal) and Phagwara. The state also houses over agriculture produce market, 3110 purchase centers and five agri export zones.

Punjab is also in the process of setting up primary processing centres at Abohar, Hoshiarpur, Sri Amritsar Sahib and Talwandi Sabo to support the companies investing in the Food Parks, the spokesperson said.