25) 2nd India-Africa Economic Mission concludes, lays groundwork for South-South collaboration
(17 December 2011)

Hyderabad, India The 2nd India-Africa Economic Mission organized by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Brussels-based EMRC International came to a successful close here yesterday.

Following five days of deliberations at ICRISAT headquarters and visits to prominent agricultural businesses such as Vibha Seeds on 11-16 December 2011, participants left with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the techniques and products available to create sustainable agricultural growth. The mission brought under a single platform African and Indian decision makers, experts and the business community.

“The initiative will see better policies, more effective institutions, improved infrastructure, and better access to markets and to higher quality inputs, particularly for dryland farmers in India and Africa. This is a platform for focused and systematic partnership towards stronger and inclusive development cooperation between India and Africa,” said ICRISAT Director General William D. Dar.

The five-day mission concentrated largely on showcasing India’s innovative research and development techniques in agriculture as well as visits to companies linked to equipment and machinery, water conservation and management, bio-fuels, seeds and fresh produce management.

In addition to the discussions, the field visits and the knowledge sharing, several Business to Business (B2B) meetings allowed the participants and their Indian counterparts to get down to business and forge partnerships.

 “It was an eye opener for me. During the B2B, I explored various business opportunities in India. Our population is far less than that of India but still lots of people sleep hungry. I want to use the technologies of India and implement them in our country,” says Mr Muhammed Nurallah Abubakar, Executive Director, Livestock and Fisheries Development and Marketing Company, Federal Ministry of Nigeria. “This was a great initiative by ICRISAT and EMRC. I have been in touch with the ICRISAT office in Nigeria since 10 years to understand various agricultural technologies. Setting up an agribusiness platform in Nigeria will be a great help to our country,” he added.

“B2B meetings are essential and one of the main reasons for taking part in these economic missions. One needs to be introduced to the most fitting business partner,” explains Idit Miller, EMRC International’s VP and Managing Director. “This mission emphasizes the need for private and public sector dialogue and partnerships,” she added.

The mission’s outcome was positive. Participants were able to access leading research institutes and companies, whilst these institutes showcased their latest innovations. According to many though, the economic mission goes further than that. It is an important stepping-stone for building South-South relationships in a world where political and economic ties are changing rapidly and where the rest of the world is looking at the South for future business opportunities to feed the world’s growing population.

For more information about ICRISAT, please visit our website: www.icrisat.org

For more information on the program, please contact:

Samuel Pulido, EMRC Senior Program Manager
Brussels, Belgium; Tel: +32.2626.1514; Email sp@emrc.be 

 

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