Punjab to set up food centre with Canadian expertise

June 5th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, June 5 (IANS) The Canadian province of Manitoba has signed an agreement with Punjab to set up a food development centre in the Indian state.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah, who is leading an eight-member delegation to the Canadian province, signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday with Manitoba’s Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk in Winnipeg.

The establishment of the food development centre with Canadian collaboration will expand Punjab’s agro-food industry, the two ministers said after the signing ceremony.

Wowchuk said Manitoba’s Food Development Centre will partner with Punjab in developing a similar centre by offering “expertise in designing, developing, equipping and operating”.

She said the exchange “of knowledge, research and technology can create profitable advantages for both Manitoba and India”.

Under the agreement, Manitoba will provide consultancy services in client and facility management, food-safety processes in consistent with market demands, and pilot plant procedures.

Manitoba, which is known as the green capital of Canada because of its dominant position in agriculture, has already started such initiatives with Indian business groups and states.

Many delegations from the province have visited India under exchange programmes to boost cooperation in agriculture and agri-food sectors between the two countries.

Wowchuk herself visited India in 2007 on a mission to boost agriculture ties.

Apart from Langah, the Punjab delegation included Santosh Kumar Sandhu, managing director of Punjab Agro Industries Limited; Balwinder Singh Sidhu, director agriculture; Gurbans Sobti, state trade commissioner; and Rajnish Tuli, senior manager (projects) at Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd.

It also included three agro-industry entrepreneurs.

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