India to host first global forum on agro-industries

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (UNI) India will host the first global conference on agro-industries, to be held here from April 8 to 11, with a view to promoting agro-processing as part of economic development and poverty reduction.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the forum, together with Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO, Kandeh K Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO and Lennart Bage, President of IFAD on April 9, a UNIDO release said here today.

THe conference is being projected as the Global Agro-Industries Forum (GAIF)and around 500 senior representatives from the agro-industry, governments, technical and financing institutions, civil society and UN agencies will participate in it for discussing the potential of agro-industries and the challenges they have been facing.

The conference is being jointly organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in close collaboration with the Central government.

The conference is based on a UN sponsored concept that rapid globalisation, market liberalisation, and urbanisation have created new opportunities for countries to trade agricultural and food products.

However, they have also created challenges and increased risks. Countries with inefficient agro-industries are likely to be left behind those with modern and efficient agro-industries. While high-income countries add on average 180 dollars of value by processing one tonne of agricultural products, developing countries generate only 40 dollars of value per tonne.

Increasing the market opportunities particularly for small-scale producers in rural areas, by improving their production, processing and marketing capabilities, will be one of the main issues of the conference. Delivering better products at lower prices could be beneficial for poor consumers and could also create employment opportunities.

The Forum will also encourage dialogue between the private and public sector in order to foster partnerships for developing competitive agro-industries.

UNI/JSS AM SK KP1329

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