On the occasion of the visit of Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Mark Rutte, to Mumbai, Rabobank in association with Netherlands Agro, Food and Technology Centre (NAFTC) and the Netherlands Consulate organised a Roundtable Discussion on Indian Dairy in Mumbai on June 6th. The theme of the event was ‘Optimising the Indian Dairy Chain’. Dutch Agriculture Minister Ms. Sharon Dijksma and Joint Secretary (Dairy), Govt. of India, Ms. Rajni Sekhri Sibal opened the conference with a welcome address while Prime Minister Rutte addressed the delegates too.
The roundtable comprised two panel discussions. The first panel was moderated by Mr. PG Ganesh, Head of Food and Agribusiness Research – Rabobank India and shed light on, ‘How to intensify small dairy farming activities in India’. The panel acknowledged the pivotal role that small & marginal scale dairy farming still plays in India and that any kind of technological innovation needs to focus on this segment. Holistic development across the chain from feed for cattle, the nutritional value of soil and pasture, genetics etc. are needed at the primary production level. An enabling environment already exists and the Netherlands can provide its expertise in dairy and help improve the livelihood of millions of farmers going forward.
The second session, moderated by Mr. Henk van Duijn, VP, Netherlands Agro – Food & Technology Centre (NAFTC), India addressed, ‘Upscaling medium-scale dairy farms to global standards’. The focus of the session was to understand the role of stakeholders like milk processors and service providers (genetics, nutrition, technology) in providing a platform for farmers to improve the herd size with improvement in milk quality and productivity. Prime Minister Rutte, in his remarks, acknowledged the progress made in India over the years in developing the dairy sector to become the world’s largest producer of milk. He said that qualitative improvements will take centre stage in the coming years and that the Netherlands is keen to provide its expertise and being a part of the growth story.
Apart from panel discussions, the event also marked the signing of an MoU between Rabobank and NAFTC on the long term sustainable development of the Indian dairy and allied sectors. The objective of the agreement is to take an intense view of the upstream linkages in dairy value-chain in India and analyse the current practices at dairy farm level. This can help initiate partnership for promoting sustainable growth, innovation, and capacity building for farm management and technology interventions. This may result in facilitating engagements by Netherlands-based companies across the value-chain. Jeroen Nijsen, CEO – Asia, Rabobank and Errol van Groenewoud, Chairman NAFTC India signed the MoU in the presence of Prime Minister Rutte and Kaushik Modak, CEO Rabobank India.
The roundtable was well attended by companies across the dairy value-chain which included, Chairman-National Dairy Development Board, MD-Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, and senior delegates from Prabhat Dairy, Gopaljee Dairy, Govind dairy, DSM nutrition, Schreiber Dynamix, Gokul Dairy, VRS Foods, Tasty Dairy, Good-Day Foods, Olam, Provimi-Cargill, Bayer Animal Health, Tata Starbucks, Jubilant Foodworks (Domino’s), Reliance Retail, Godrej Agrovet, Coca Cola, ITC, IDMC, DeLaval, Alltech nutrition, ABS Genus, RK Foodland and Akzo Nobel. From the Netherlands, representatives from Wageningen University, CRV, De Heus Nutrition, Schils, Stork Food & Dairy Systems, and Van Hall Larenstein – University of Applied
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