Amemorandum of understanding (MOU) signed May 12 between the Province of Manitoba and the State of Haryana, India, will launch plans to create a food development centre in that state and cultivate a working relationship between the new facility and the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers has announced.
“This MOU is intended to create a working relationship that will allow the province and the Food Development Centre (FDC) to share common experiences and solutions to achieve common goals with the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation,” said Struthers, noting this corporation is the agency that will work with the FDC to implement the MOU. “The respective organizations will explore opportunities for using the strengths of each partner to achieve the aims of their respective associations in agribusiness and agri-food development.”
Manitoba has been focusing on commercialization and adding value to agriculture products and has identified the need to target the export market for Manitoba food companies. India has been identified as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
Manitoba agriculture and food companies would benefit from relationships established with particular regions of India to allow more efficient market access for Manitoba products.
Through the MOU, the FDC will provide services and technical expertise on a fee-for-service basis to support the establishment of the new development centre in India based on the Manitoba model. These services focus on food engineering and process developments, pilot plant design and equipment sourcing, product development, and custom processing and co-packing.
In recent years, the province and FDC have mobilized Manitoba’s knowledge and technological expertise to help launch the creation of food development centres in India. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the State of Punjab and a Letter of Intent with the State of Bihar. Haryana has now been identified by the Indian government as a location for a development centre linked to a mega food park the Indian government has been pursuing.
“The relationships and liaisons created will help Manitoba companies in the movement of goods and services between the markets of Manitoba and northern India,” said Struthers. “It will also act as a potential incubator for Manitoba agriculture companies to enter the Indian market.”
Haryana is self-sufficient in food production and the second-largest contributor to India’s central pool of food grains. The main crops of Haryana are wheat, rice, sugar cane, cotton, oilseeds, barley, corn and millet.