US-India collaboration in key human security areas will enhance agri value chain

New York, Jan.28 (ANI): A senior official of the Obama administration has said that collaboration between the United States and India in key human security areas will enhance the agricultural value chain and strengthen market institutions to reduce post-harvest crop losses.

"Enhancing food security in India is vital to continuing India's globalizing trends and sustaining our burgeoning strategic economic partnership. This cooperation will also bring wider global benefits," said Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, during a recent address at the Syracruse University here.

Recalling President Obama's visit to India in November last year, Blake also said that both the President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had then announced that the U.S. and India will begin trilateral cooperation with Afghanistan to capitalize on the significant efforts both of our countries are making to stabilize Afghanistan.

"Specifically, our two leaders agreed to pursue joint development projects in Afghanistan in agriculture and women's empowerment and to strengthen capacity building efforts. They also agreed that for the first time, the U.S. and India will adapt our shared innovations and technologies and use our expertise in capacity building to extend food security to other interested countries, particularly in Africa," Blake said.

Reiterating the impressive stride made by both the United States and India in the last ten years, Blake said the full potential of the global strategic partnership lay in the hands of succeeding generations.

In this regard, he said that the two key areas that both countries were now focusing on were health and education.

He said that the U.S. and India have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Global Disease Detection network, which will involve a number of collaborative activities to detect emerging diseases, ensure pandemic influenza preparedness and response, laboratory containment systems, and bio-safety training and capacity building. Employers know that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce.

On the education front, he said that the U.S. and India have agreed to convene a U.S.-India Higher Education Summit, chaired by senior officials from both countries in 2011, as part of a continued effort to strengthen educational opportunities.

Such collaboration, he said would ensure that innovation and knowledge-based industry continue to drive growth of the two economies. (ANI)

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