GUWAHATI, Nov 30 - Companies from the United Kingdom (UK) have evinced keen interest in providing their expertise to develop the piggery sector in Assam and other north-eastern States.
This view emerged during the visit of a six-member delegation of British Livestock Mission to Guwahati on Wednesday.
An interactive event was held on the occasion by the British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata, in partnership with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
Speaking on the occasion, British Deputy Head of Mission (Kolkata) Shahida Khan said that the delegation has come to the State to share their expertise in the area of pig breeding improvement.
�This is also the third visit in two years by the British Pig Association and it is now trying to work with various State governments in the region to improve the genetic potential of nucleus breeding stock,� she said.
Khan added that the UK has a lot to offer to the north-eastern region with regard to agricultural technology and added that her country is very keen to do business with this region.
She said that India and the UK are major partners in business and technology sharing. Khan said that agri-tech is the need of the hour.
�We can build the best cities with the smartest planning but imagine a situation where we do not have enough food to feed the people living in those cities. A rising global population, the aspirations of developing countries and growing geopolitical instability around land, water and energy shortages will all serve to provide unprecedented challenges to the global food and agricultural systems over the next 20 years,� she said.
Khan said that the UK is at the forefront of advances in global agricultural technologies and added that her country�s offer to India covers the full spectrum of the livestock sector from genetics for improving production to setting up clean cold chain centres.
With regard to the piggery sector, she said that British pedigree pigs offer advantages of superior production traits that include fast growth, low food conversion, maximum lean meat and unmatched sow productivity.
�We at the Deputy High Commission and the Department for International Trade see ourselves as facilitators in bringing Indian and UK companies together on a common platform to share skills, experience and form mutually beneficial partnerships,� Khan said.
Dr Ranjeet Mehta, Principal Director of PHDCCI, said that region is a virgin market and there is lot of opportunities for the British firms in the region. Mehta said that besides livestock, opportunities also exist in development of cold chain.
Describing the North-east as a prominent meat consuming zone of India, Mehta said that while the government has announced a lot of schemes for development of piggery in the region many of the projects have yet to reach the ground level.
He said that livestock sector plays a major role in the society and economy of the North-east and added that with right kind of expertise and technology a lot more could be achieved.
Mehta added that PHDCCI is planning to take a delegation to the UK within next five months to gain some first-hand experience of the agriculture and livestock sector in that country.
Export Director of British Pig Association Chris Jackson, International Sales Manager of Genesus UK Ltd Paul Anderson, Key Account Manager of JSR genetics John Alexander, among others, gave presentations during the event.