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Reach Over 11000 APEDA Members

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inside... Cover Story

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Agri Affairs

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Horticulture

The Growth Driver of Indian Agriculture sector Sanjeev Chopra

Grand Opening by Haroon Yusuf, Food Minister, Delhi

Opens

The Wide Gate of Horticulture to Farmers: Tariq Anwar

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EDITORIAL

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FDI in multi-brand retail

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...22

grain test

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Fao & Partners Launch Global Campaign to Change Culture of Food Waste

Grain Quality

Assessment of quality through image processing – Soumitra Tiwari, Amarjeet Kaur, Mahesh Kumar

sweet war

Candy Vs Mithai: The war within – Preethi Chamikutty

38 retail NEWS n HRS Systems aims growth via FDI in retail n Punjab to waive off mandi fee n Future Group to follow franchise route

M. Saleem Shishgar Food Systems

Future of Agriculture and Food Systems

Can We Deliver? Vijay Sardana

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food campaign

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Apple is Our Pride

– Paresh Parekh

Unep,

State Talk

Practical interpretation & relaxation of conditions

All Hail Expos as Par Excellence in Terms of Agri-Promotion Anwar Huda

fdi

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40 corporate NEWS n Rajasthan registers 73% growth in agro exports n Nabard to develop food processing sector 42 food & Beverages n McCain Foods to invest in Gujarat Unit n Coconut Board to diversify its products 45 46 47

Health & nutrition news commodity news marine news

48 dairy NEWS n India to achieve 133 MT mark in milk production n World’s first cloned buffalo delivers calf in Karnal


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orial Edit

A

Chief Editor: S. Jafar Naqvi Consulting Editors: T.V. Satyanarayanan K Dharmarajan Chief Co-ordinator: M.B. Naqvi Editorial Co-ordinator: Syed M K News Editor: Anwar Huda General Manager: Lalitha V. Rajan

Layout & Design: Faiyaz Ahmad Mohd. Iqbal Head Office New Delhi: +91-11-26682045 / 26681671 / 64521572 Fax : +91-11-26681671 mediatoday@vsnl.com Other Business Offices Hyderabad: 9248669027 hyderabad@mediatoday.in Mumbai: 9702903993 mumbai.office@mediatoday.in Pune: 9881137397 pune@mediatoday.in Bangalore: 9342185915 / 9341473494 Bangalore.office@mediatoday.in bangalore@mediatoday.in

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shining example of private-public partnership, buttressed by international cooperation, the 5th Horti Expo that concluded in New Delhi was generally hailed as having lived up to its reputation as one of the best ever held in this part of the continent. All stakeholders were under one roof to project India’s vast untapped potential in horticulture, opening up vast avenues of investment and entrepreneurial initiatives. The timing of this event has turned out to be most significant. It was held soon after the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) got its seal of approval from the National Development Council, the country’s top policy making forum comprising the Centre and states. After having achieved a level of food security in the county, by stepping up the production of foodgrains needed to ward off hunger, the planning process is all set to switch gears to take agriculture and allied sectors on a new path of progress. Planners and policy makers have been stressing on a need for a paradigm shift in policy formulation in a bid to transform agriculture from a level of subsistence that it is to a majority of farmers to agri business or a commercial venture. Obviously, crop diversification and food processing are sought to be given greater priority, without compromising on necessary focus to take foodgrain production forward. The projected foodgrain target for 2020 is 280 million tonnes, but much of the increase is expected to come by stepping up productivity. In crop diversification, one of the most remunerative activities could be growing of fruits, vegetables and flowers. The Food Processing Industries Ministry has sought almost a four-fold hike in the 12th Plan outlay to Rs 15,000 crore to check wastage of fruits and vegetables estimated at Rs. 44,000 crore a year. The Horti Expo gave ample evidence of the skills our growers have acquired in cultivating large varieties of horti produce, many of which, per se, were as good as any displayed in the foreign stalls. Where the Indian grower takes a beating is in the absence of a strong supply chain to take the produce from the farm to the fork. At the Horti Conference, a Kashmiri apple grower gave vent to this concern: How does he take the produce from his farm to the market, located far away, by ensuring minimum damage to it? The answer is: Use reefer vans. But how costly is it? Would it not reflect in the production cost? Would he be able to recover that cost? The grower’s concerns are legitimate and need to be addressed. Here comes the role of the 12th Plan, the detailed programmes and the nitty-gritty details of which have to be worked out in both the Centre and the states. One of the most important aspects that need to be given a thrust is infrastructure development. In agriculture sector, wastages of monumental proportions are taking place that can be checked only through development of adequate infrastructure -- be it for grain storage and transport, or marketing of fruits and vegetables. It is reported that government has already planned periodic road shows for attracting investments from big international investors and sovereign funds across the world. The targeted investment in infrastructure sector during the 12th Plan is Rs. 57 lakh crore. Surely, the farm sector would be one of the beneficiaries. Let us hope sizeable funds would flow in to strengthen the supply chain and other infrastructure facilities in this sector. Would the next Horti Expo reflect the results of this revolution of sorts? Why not? Comments are welcome at: mediatoday@vsnl.com

Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi

Vol 10....... Issue 2 ...... February 2013

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Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of “AgriBusiness & Food Industry” editorial board. AgriBusiness & Food Industry does not accept any responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to Delhi Jurisdiction only. .....Editor

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Cover Story

Grand Opening by Haroon Yusuf, Food Minister, Delhi

Opens The Wide Gate of Horticulture to Farmers: Tariq Anwar All Hail Expos as Par Excellence in Terms of Agri-Promotion Anwar Huda

“Horticulture is a growth-engine in agriculture. It has certainly opened the wide gate of opportunities to farmers. With 257 MT horticulture produce and annual growth rate of 8%, and 27% growth in the last 10 years, India has witnessed a remarkable horticulture story in recent years. 90% of all horticulture produce are fruits and vegetables,� Tariq Anwar said while inaugurating International HortiCongress

T

he gala 5th Horti Expo, 8th Flora Expo, 7th Landscape & Gardening Expo, and 2nd Potato expo 2013 were inaugurated in New Delhi, on 11th January, by the Chief Guest Haroon

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Yusuf, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Government of NCT of Delhi, Sutiawan GUNESSEE, OSK, Ambassador of Mauritius to India, and Safdar Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minority Commission,

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

Govt of NCT of Delhi, and other highprofile delegates from India and abroad. While the International Horti Congress 2013 was inaugurated by Chief Guest Tariq Anwar, Minister of State


Cover Story

Chief Guest's Speech at International HortiCongress

Horticulture has immense potential to revolutionize agriculture T

he horticulture sector, with a wide array of crops, has been a driving force in the stimulating a healthy growth in Indian agriculture. India is producing 257 million tonnes of horticulture produce with an annual growth rate of about 8 percent. The noteworthy feature is that higher growth rate in horticulture was possible due to improvement in productivity of horticulture crops, which increased by about 27% between 2001-02 and 2011-12. Fruits and vegetables account for about 90 per cent of the total production of horticulture crops. There is a high demand of fruits and vegetables due to rising income urbanization and change in dietary pattern. Among vegetables, potato is the major vegetable, accounting for 27%. It is therefore befitting that a full expo has been devoted to potato. Spices & aromatic plants, flowers & foliages, plantation crops like coconut, arecanut, cashewnut and cocoa are also important constituents of horticulture sector. These commodities are in high demand in domestic as well as International markets. India has been maintaining the leadership in the exports of spices and spice products. Similarly, good income is being derived by exporting cashewnuts and cashew bi products, though our production level of raw cashewnuts are much below the processing capacity. In the case of floriculture, India has made significant improvement in the production of flowers, particularly cut flowers, which have a good potential for exports. India is known for growing

traditional flowers such as jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum, tuberose, aster, etc. Commercial cultivation of cut flowers like roses, orchids, gladiolus, carnation, gerbera, anthurium and lilium has also become popular. The area under cut flowers having stems has increased manifold. These flowers are increasingly being grown under protected cover, both for domestic and export markets. I am pleased to note that many International players have shown interest in Indian floriculture and are taking part in Flora Expo as a part of this Conference. It is but natural that the development of the horticulture sector, which is predominantly owned by Small & Marginal farmers, requires constant hand holding and support. Horticulture interventions require substantial investments for procuring right variety of planting material and its cultivation, harvesting and marketing. Adequate and timely supply of good quality planting material and seeds of horticultural crops play an important role in improving the productivity of horticultural crops. In order to ensure quality, state governments need to source the planting material from accredited nurseries only. A large number of nurseries and Tissue Culture Units have been set up under the public and private sector for producing the planting material. A scheme on Nursery Accreditation has been introduced by the NHB, and state governments are being advised to procure their requirements from accredited nurseries only. Produced grains should not be lost in transit and handling before it reaches the

Tariq Anwar

consumer. Therefore infrastructure facility for cold chain management needs to be set up. Since cold chain management is still in infancy stage in India, A national Centre of ColdChain Management (NCCD) has been established for addressing the gaps in cold chain sector. Cold chain also generates new value chains and opportunities to our farming community by allowing them the option to reach out to more distant markets. Similarly, for the consumers it ensures a steady and regular food supply. Equally important is the need to increase the food processing capacity, which is only 2% in the case of fruits of vegetables. The private players will have a larger role to play in carrying forward these objectives.

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Cover Story for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Government of India, amid the presence of several distinguished delegates including Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, and Guest of Honour Shyamlal Sharma, Minister for Horticulture & Floriculture, Govt of J&K. Fortunately for everyone, The Mother Nature, as if reflecting the bright mood of emerging horticulture of India, cancelled its bitter attack and offered the sunny February-like days. Haroon Yusuf cut the inaugural tape, and took an “aesthetic walk” around the stalls, finding it tough to express his child-like happiness that could only be brought by rainbow colours of flowers and fruits. He took some time to pause at each stall, praising the flowery decorations, and the efforts of the delegates and participants. The horticulture officials of several states’ horticulture board stalls were seen explaining to him the strengths of their respective state in terms of horticulture development. Yusuf praised everyone and said, “Delhi Government under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit is taking pro-active steps to develop gardens of Delhi under Delhi Parks & Garden Society”. “Green Delhi will of course inspire the rest of India to become green,” he said exuberantly. He also praised Media Today Group, organizer of the expos, in glowing words, and said that it is highly commendable to note that the organizers had have been helping floriculture of India to grow by leaps and bounds by inviting all stakeholders under single roof. The Kashmir Horticulture Department officials told him about India’s first Special Refrigerated Train, and offered him nuts, the taste of which was in Yusuf’s words was ‘extraordinary’. Attractive Stalls The various stalls set up by different horticulture departments of various states, and private companies were a great puller of the visitors. While delegates were seen exchanging visiting cards, fixing deals in the peaceful lounge area, visitors’ eyes were focused on materials on display. New concepts like vertical gardening set up by Green systems, and all kinds of flowers at various private firms’ stalls, accompanied by unique traditional display by states like Manipur and Meghalaya kept the visitors glued to the treats of the eyes. There were also food for the brains such as Kinnows, chocolate capsicum, yellow capsicum, guava, amla, various size of tomatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, yellow carrot, seedless cucumber (Haryana and Punjab stalls), and mouth-watering dry-fruits, apple and saffron display at the J&K stall. While Maharastra Horticulture stall distributed free cherries to the visitors, and selling processed juices, pickles, etc. The range of the product/service-segments included fresh fruits and vegetables, farm machinery and equipment, potato products and technology, cold chain and logistics, seed, agro-chemical and irrigation, organic, agri finance and insurance,

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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

(L-R) S Jafar Naqvi, Vijay Sardana & D P Singh

S Jafar Naqvi

Shyamlal Sharma & Tariq Anwar (R)

D P Singh

Sanjeev Chopra

T S Vishwanath

M Saleem Shishgar

P. Alli Rani (R)


Cover Story processing and packaging, medicinal herbal products, fresh retailing, and floriculture wealth and technology. Massive Participation The three-day rainbow of expos attracted large footprints of curious local, Indian and foreign visitors, delegates and participants. The celestial in beauty, earthly in nature, Nature’s products-displaying exhibition left no one unaffected or unimpressed. Women, young and old, kids, and men and elders all braved the notorious Delhi chill to make their presence felt at the farmers’ biggest gala event. The International Horti Conference too saw massive participation of professionals from diverse sectors related to horticulture, floriculture and farm machinery. The participants, delegates and visitors from 14 countries and 22 states and UTs took part. The total approximate number of visitors for each day stood at 15000. Celebrated Sponsors The expos, which had the Union Ministry of Agriculture as its Principal Sponsor, has a host of other celebrated sponsors including National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Horticulture Board (NHB), and Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States. The expos were also supported by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Food Processing & Packaging Machinery Industry Association, Irrigation Association of India, National Medicinal Plant Board, and Indian Flowers and Ornamental Plants Welfare Association Partner Country & Silver Sponsor The Netherlands was the Partner Country, while the Silver Sponsor was Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society, Industries & Commerce Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. International Horti Congress 2013 The Welcome Address The Welcome Note was read by S. Jafar Naqvi, Chief Editor, Media Today Group & President, iFlora. Remembering India’s former President APJ Abdul Kalam, he said, “While inaugurating Horti/ Flora Expo 2006, Kalamji had said that floriculture is not just a billion dollar industry but a million job opportunity as well”. Jafar also praised the indomitable courage of all the visitors, delegates, and participants for braving the cold and attending the expo in large numbers. “This shows their unflinching fidelity towards horticulture”. The Inaugural Address The inaugural lamp of the International Horti Congress 2013 was lit by Tariq Anwar and Shyamlal Sharma amid other high profile guests. Tariq thanked all the present guests and participants and expressed happiness of attending such an important event.

Dr. Babita Singh

Pawanexh Kohli

Arjun Singh Saini

R Suresh

S K Pradhan

(L-R) Anwar Huda, Sutiawan Gunessee (Mauritius Ambassador) with his wife & A A Kazmi

Ashok Khurana

Dr. Saumitra Chaudhury

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Cover Story He said he loved walking around the exhibition pavilions as it was all treat to the eyes. “Today floriculture has made a good progress in the country which was not the case a decade ago,” He added, and praised the organizer Media Today Group for reviving floriculture in the country. Speaking about the needs of the day, he said that creation of an eco-system, irrigation and farm management, subsidies and bringing best technologies are some of the important factors to increase the output and produce the best quality horticulture crops. He also added that only horticulture can make farmers affluent. “Horticulture is a growth-engine in agriculture. It has certainly opened the wide gate of opportunities to farmers. With 257 MT horticulture produce and annual growth rate of 8% and 27% growth in the last 10 years, India has witnessed a remarkable horticulture story in recent years. 90% of all horticulture produce are fruits and vegetables,” he said. He added that it is due to rising income, urbanization, and awareness about health that India’s middle class is now consuming a lot of horticulture produce. Special Address Shyamlal Sharma, who has brought around 60 delegates including Horticulture Director, Extension Officials and horticulture growers with him and put up the biggest stall this time, was very appreciative of Media Today Group for holding this mega event on international commercial horticulture. He also praised all the officials of the J&K horticulture department who transformed the segment through their hard work and implementing of good ideas. A farmer himself, Sharma knows the jobs and pains of farmers like nobody else. In his speech he talked about revival of the mandi under his guidance, changing the marketing system. He praised NHM (National Horticulture Mission) for helping the farmers to grow horticulture crops with the help of latest technology and tools. Exhorting all the stakeholders of horticulture, he said, “We need to shift from traditional to scientific farming for enhanced productivity and quality produce.” He also asked for popularizing of value addition to increase farmers’ income. He praised J&K’s produce for their exemplary quality and dubbed

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Dr. Satyavir Singh (C)

apple as “Our Pride” in fruits and “Walnut” in dry fruits. The Keynote Address The Keynote address was delivered by Sanjeev Chopra. Praising the expos and conference he said, “With 14 international participation and 22 states & UT participation, we can not ask who is present but who is not present. Due to the thrust given to horticulture by government agencies like NHM and NHB, and efforts by the organizers of these expos, small farmers have succeeded to break BPL (below poverty line) barrier, which otherwise was impossible to achieve by merely traditional agriculture.” Now with a small piece of land (as India is a country of fragmented landholdings), a farmer can grow several times more with the use of polyhouse and other tools and materials supplied in a highly subsidized manner by the central and state government agencies, he added. He also asked farmers and other

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

stakeholders to combine local with global so that the whole world becomes India’s market. Thank Note In his Thank Note, S. Jafar Naqvi said that some of the measures adopted by Shyamlal Sharma to strengthen horticulture in his state like cluster approach (1st of its kind) can become role models for other states to follow. He thanked everyone for making the expos and conference a huge success. Special thanks were delivered to Silver Sponsor of the event Food Processing Society, Industries & Commerce Dept., Govt. of Andhra Pradesh for bringing 20 entrepreneurs, and mission directors of other participating states. Technical Sessions A total of 5 highly engaging and successful technical sessions were also held on this grand occasion during the first two days of the exhibition, which saw participation of who-and-who of the industry.


Cover Story Technical Session 1 The topic of the 1st session, moderated by S. Jafar Naqvi, was “Post FDI scenario and its impact on Fresh Produce Sector in India”. The session saw some extremely valuable outcomes through the thoughtful presence of highly experienced personalities such as Vijay Sardana, Director-ARPL India and Head of Food Security Initiatives and Agribusinesses, and D. P. Singh, Zonal Director, NHB. Sardana spoke extensively and convincingly about the concerns of private sector and why it is not investing in cold chain. He appeared blunt but it was okay if looked business-wise. Talking about the government’s complaint that private sector is not coming forward to invest in cold chain, he said, “A businessman will never invest in any project unless and until he sees a business sense in it. He cannot throw away his hard-earned money to just help the government and farmers. Yes, he will help, but he should also be helped first. The government should remove many taxes and provide a profitable atmosphere for him to invest.” Allaying the fears of small traders about FDI in multi-brand retail, he said FDI will not hurt small traders as what small traders can serve to consumers will never be copied by big retailers. For example, big retailers cannot deliver groceries on credit, and will not know the taste and other local factors that small traders do. Consumers will not drive 10 km to buy things from a Wal-Mart store. D. P. Singh said that production of disease-free and quality fruits and vegetables is the responsibility of all stakeholders like NHM, NHB, NGOs and farmers. “To achieve this we have to change our mindset.” He also praised Sikkim for becoming India’s only organic state. He also informed attentive gathering about India’s first Bagwani Train (Which he also explained to Haroon Yusuf at his stall). It runs between Bhusawal to Delhi and brings bananas etc, thus saving the losses. Technical Session 2 The 2nd technical session was based on the topic “Emerging Trends in Cold Chain Developments & Bottle-necks to be addressed”. The session was chaired by Pawanexh Kohli, Principal Advisor, CrossTree, & Chief Adviser, National Cold Chain Development (NCCD), and included panelists: T S Viswanath, Principal Adviser – APJ-SLG Law

Offices, P. Alli Rani, CEO, Fresh and Healthy Enterprises Ltd., and Dr. Babita Singh, Professor – Horticulture, Amity University. Viswanath focused his speech on solutions instead of talking just about bottlenecks. He suggested that India should look towards other countries and see how they have developed feasible cold chain and the way they are run. “What we need is export-worthy infrastructure”. “PM himself is very concerned about the wastage (30-40%) and this must be minimized by better infrastructure. We also need different types of cold chains for different segments. And we should not talk about problems but solutions. We need to create a sub-group to do research and offer the government realtime information and ground realities and suggest doable policies”. Dr Babita Singh made a presentation about cold chain development and expressed her ideas to strengthen the segment to avoid wastage. P. Alli Rani, who came late and was almost panting

while speaking as she was not allowed to relax as time was running out, lamented Rs. 50 crore loss in her company’s bill book this FY as 50% cold stores lay empty. Bemoaning several lacunae in the sector, she said, “It is unfortunate as we do not have real time information system. Our company does not know what farmers want. There is lack of connect. Apart from this, secrecy in pricing is another evil that hampers the smooth functioning of the segment. Chairman also made an angry presentation and asked the people of segment not to make presentations containing just graphs and tables. It is for school children, he said. “There is enough profit for private sector in cold chain. Since it is vital to provide a pipe to flow goods in a right manner, all stakeholders should cooperate. We do have excellent infrastructure in icecream, dairy, meat. The bottlenecks are not in infrastructure but in managing and planning. And we need such cold chains that can accommodate multiple kinds of produce.”

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Cover Story in horticulture. He also said, “We are as fragmented farm-wise as the rest of India. Due to hilly region and small size of land, we are facing certain problems. We also need 2.4 crore plants each year. Our focus is on new varieties, pollination, micronutrients, and organic fruit production.” According to him poor monitoring is a failure in his state. Pollination is also an issue, he added. Saleem also answered good questions raised by Bharat Bhojane of Rise N Shine, Dr A P Singh, Former Floriculture Consultant to Government of India, and M B Naqvi, CEO, Media Today Group. Calling Sikkim “Nature’s Own Garden”, S. K. Pradhan talked about the floriculture thrust in his state, and was proud to mention that Sikkim will be fully organic by 2015. Calling his state “Biodiversity hot-spot of the country”, he said it would be good to tell that the mother plant of Cymbidium was taken to EU from Sikkim, and it is the only state in the country that grows it commercially. He also invited everyone to Sikkim International Flower Show that will be held in February.

Calling the various unending discussions here and there, now and then as “Technology Babel”, he asked for a synergy in all steps. Technical Session 3 The topic of the 3rd session was “Emerging States in Horticulture and Floriculture”. The speakers were M. Saleem Shishgar, Director (Horticulture.), Srinagar Division, J&K, Arjun Singh Saini, Horticulture Department, Haryana, and R. Suresh, Horticulture Department, Kerala. The session was chaired by S. K. Pradhan, Secretary, Horticulture and Agriculture, Government of Sikkim. Arjun Singh Saini made a presentation about the horticulture in Haryana, elaborating how Haryana

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is aggressively helping farmers to use technology like polyhouse for greater income and productivity. He also told that Haryana amended APMC Act to help private sector to establish infrastructure. R. Suresh also made presentation about the unique qualities of horticulture in Kerala. He said that Rs. 10 lakh per beneficiary subsidy is given in the state and the farmers grow almost all kinds of flowers. There are 20 Pack houses in the state, and more will be coming soon. M. Saleem Shishgar said that J&K follows export demands such as WTO regime compliance, and is committed to produce quality and clean fruits and dry fruits. He said that south Kashmir is the centre of 40% A-grade dry fruits and around 6 lakh farmers are engaged

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

Technical Session 4 The topic of this session was “Emerging Trends in Flower and Ornamental Plants”. It was chaired by Dr. A.P.S. Gill, Former Floriculture Consultant to Government of India. The panelists were Michael Mendonca, CAO, Rise N Shine Group, who spoke on Innovative approach to the Indian floriculture industry, Kavita Poddar, Pushpa-Bitan Friendship Society (Emerging Trends in Floral design market in India), Dr. H. P. Sumangala, Scientist, IIHR-Bangalore (Landscaping & Ornamental Plants), and Capt Suresh Sharma (Visibility of Indian Floriculture through Photo art). Mendonca made an angry presentation lambasting horticulture agencies and private players for not showing interest in floriculture. He gave several examples of the ongoing projects that either totally ignore floriculture or offer token support to it. His sweating face in winter added impact to his voice of grievances. Nonetheless, he asked floriculture stakeholders to “keep as local as possible and as global as necessary”. He sought logistics driven operations, efficient supply chains, collaborative approach and Mumbai’s dabbawalah-type consortium to strengthen the segment. “piggyback approach must stop,” he said. He profusely praised the Netherlands for making its floriculture industry the most


Cover Story formidable in the world. “This is the reason why 40% stalls over here have some kind connection with Holland,” he said. Kavita poddar, the Flower Lady of India, kept audience spellbound with mesmerising presentation of floral designs of various hues and shades. Her labour of love “Pushpa Bitan Friendship Society” of Kolkata (A member of World Association of Flower Arrangers: WAFA) is wellknown internationally, and works with the globally acclaimed floral artistes. The motto of the society is “friendship through flowers”. “I am not a commercial artiste,” she declared proudly. “Here I am presenting consumers’ point of view. The biggest consumers are wedding seasons in India, as India is known for elaborate marriages. The impact of this could be gauged by the fact that even flower exporters of Bangkok increase prices during Indian wedding season. It certainly gives hope to floriculture”. Dr. H.P. Sumangla also made a breath-taking presentation about senecio species, amenity horticulture, aesthetic landscaping and promotion and protection of wild flower species. She also talked about aqua-scape and vertical gardening, both new concepts to India. She called India as “Mega Diversity Centre”. “There are 17 thousand species under 2984 genera and 247 families”. Capt Suresh Sharma, a celebrated wild-life photographer, was as brief yet as effective as any army mission. Through his presentation, he changed the perception of the audience for flowers in real time by a slide-show of his labour of love-snake and flower photography. He said that he spent several hours in scorching dun, and other inhospitable conditions just to capture the right mood of the flowers, punctuated by his brilliant three degree lighting. He has a make-shift van and he along with his wife and kid often spends months in the wild to take extraordinary photographs. “Photography adds value to the floriculture. And it does not need cold chain for preservation,” he said. Dr. A P S. Gill, a benign, downto-earth, simple, that often belie his extraordinary experiences and expertise in the field of floriculture, praised the panellists for amazing presentations, and said that floriculture needs to be promoted in a big way. Technical Session 5 The topic of this session was “Products for improvement of productivity in

flowers”. Chaired by Krish Iyengar, JSNCPAH, the session saw participation of Anand Zambre, VP-Agri Business, Essen Multipack who spoke on New Innovation in use of plastics in Greenhouse Technology - IR COOLING FILMS and PLASTIC GUTTERS used in greenhouses, and Jose Petrement, Representative - Soleplast S.A. Spain who made presentation on “Increasing Productivity through Quality Films”. The chairman said that flowers are high value products and the scope in floriculture is immense in India which should be used. Anand Zambre made a technical presentation detailing the use of intelligent designing of polyhouse, and why his company developed plastic gutters that are huge success.

“Plastic gutters can withstand high rain of the south and arid climate of the Saurashtra region. These gutters are easy to install, and provide lot flexibility like transparency,” he said. Jose also made a presentation detailing the use of science and technology in building right kind of films which his company does. “Farmers can increase productivity through right films. The right films should always control heat, light and humidity,” he said. According to him, the real issues are costs and lack of awareness which need to be addressed. Building Floral Bridges across Nations: Workshop on Floral Designs As it is said climax of a show

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Cover Story

M B Naqvi offering bouquet to Sanjeev Chopra

MB Naqvi offering bouquet to Ashok Khurana(R)

should always be magical, the exhibition was lucky to have, on the last day, a mesmerising demonstration of floral designs by internationally renowned artistes brought by none other but the iconic non-commercial, ultra flower-loving group Pushpa Bitan Friendship Society. There were Christiane Duckworth from Singapore and Madhvi Khimji from Oman. Shahimah Sayeed, Former President, World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), Pakistan, could not come to show her tremendous floral design skill due to some reasons, but her presence was strongly, heartily felt at the expo through her floral art piece “Three Wickets: Spreading Love through Cricket”, prominently displayed at Pushpa Bitan Society stall. The two Hands of Nature, for the next 1.5 hours, kept the visitors spellbound with their intricate floral design works. They created decorative pieces of extraordinary design in the real time and found it tough what Duckworth called “The immense task of focusing on the work at hand, and at the same time, addressing the audience”. The audience included Ikebana artistes and learners, florists, event planners, marriage decorators and lovers of flowers. Valedictory Session Valedictory session proved to be a great culmination point of the expos. It was attended by the Chief Guest Dr. Saumitra Chaudhury, Member of Planning Commission, Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Ashok Khurana, Director General, CPWD, and C.K. Khetan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture. They were welcomed by S. Jafar Naqvi, Chief Editor, Media Today Group.

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Reciting a famous couplet of Majrooh Sultanpuri “Mai akela hi chala tha Janib-e- manzil magar log sath aate gaye aur caravan banta gaya” (I walked alone towards my destination, but people kept coming and a caravan emerged), Jafar said that it was worthwhile to remember the first such expo in 2005 which was held in Bangalore. Then the cops were called in as farmers were protesting outside for entry and inside the halls were choc-oblock with people. “For the first time, so many varieties, so many horticultural tools and experts of the segment gathered under a single roof”. That outcome keeps us inspiring to serve our country in a more respectful and productive manner, he added. Sanjeev Chopra briefed the gathering about the happenings of three days, and reiterated that it is horticulture alone which can empower poor farmers to break BPL barriers. “Now it is worthwhile to note that horticulture is emerging as a vital sector in terms of value and volume”. Ashok Khurana called the expo as an eye-opener. “It was great to see a lot of tissue culture, technology and experts, green wall concepts here.” He also regretted that DDA which controls a lot of parks in Delhi remained absent. “It should have participated.” Dr. Saumitra Chaudhury in his brief but enlightening speech praised the show calling it “impressive and extremely valuable”. “It sends a message forward that helps open up horticulture and floriculture activities for farmers. He stressed on certain factors like ‘connectivity’ and ‘urban demand’ leading phenomenal growth in horticulture. “People are becoming more and more health-conscious and their enhanced purchasing power have enabled

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them to opt for more fruits and vegetables and processed foods. This is why market is growing at 10 %. “ He praised NHM, NHB and other agencies for helping farmers and said that there is enormous potential and the outcome can be doubled. “NHM should set up high target like Milk Mission did few decades back”. Awards Sanjeev Chopra thanked God for being spared of becoming a jury as he loved all stalls and would not have been able to declare which were less attractive or more attractive. But nonetheless, awards are awards and they inspire those who do not win to put more efforts. Dr. Saumitra Chaudhury, Sanjeev Chopra and other guests present on the dais presented the awards to the winners. S. Jafar Naqvi offered special praise to the Silver Sponsor of the expo ‘Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society, Industries & Commerce Department, Government of Andhra’ Pradesh for lending a great support. Excellent Display Awards The Excellent Display Award Winners are: Punjab Horticulture Department, National Horticulture Board, Rajasthan Horticulture Department, Manipur Horticulture Department, Meghalaya Horticulture Department, Horticulture Department, Uttarakhand, Department of Horticulture, Gujarat, Department of Horticulture, J&K, Department of Horticulture, Karnataka, Department of Horticulture, Kerala, Department of Horticulture, Haryana, CPWD, Delhi, Delhi Agriculture Marketing Board, Maharashtra State Horticulture & Medicinal Plants Board, Horticulture and Cash-Crops Department, Sikkim, Concor India, Sheel Biotech Ltd,. Florence Flora, Rise N Shine, Arcadia Agro, Garden Glory (India), Tufflex India, Special Awards National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in Horticulture (NCPAH), Grimme (Germany), Paraxas (Holland), Koppert India, VEK adviesgroep (The Netherlands), And Pushpa Bitan Society. The vote of thanks was delivered by S. Jafar Naqvi, and bouquets were presented to the Chief Guest and other dignitaries by M B Naqvi, CEO, Media Today Group, the organizer of the expos. !! Tijarat be-Mushkil Phal, Phool aur Dil !!


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State Talk

Apple is Our Pride:

M. Saleem Shishgar M. Saleem Shishgar (Director, Horticulture, Srinagar Division, Jammu & Kashmir), who spoke during Technical Session 3, is as suave and sophisticated as he is a man of knowledge and wisdom. Powerfully aided by the men of wisdom and years of experience, some old and bearded, and working under the farmerminister Shyamlal Sharma, Saleem has enviously transformed the horticulture map of his otherwise politically disturbed state. Known as the ‘Paradise of Earth’, Kashmir is a land of fruits and dry fruits. This year J&K participated in the expo as its biggest participant, bringing over 60 delegates, and setting up eye-catching, mouth-watering huge stalls that were always full-house with awestruck visitors, who scurried its beautifully displayed nuts, fruits, saffron, and other products. The affable and expert horticulture officials were giving a life-time experience to the visitors. Saleem spoke beautifully, effectively, concisely on strengths and challenges of his state. Excerpts from his speech:

Quality & EU Regulations We have a vision. And we transform that vision into reality with the help of a wonderful team that I have with me here at this expo. Quality is the main issue that bothers us. We maintain international quality but we have to constantly improve and follow the rules and regulations that are necessary for exporting agri-products. EU and other developed markets are very pesticide residue-conscious. And if we have to sell our fruits and dry fruits

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to these markets, we have to upgrade ourselves. There are WTO compulsions we have to take care of. And we are successful due to our habit to keep pace with the advanced world. See, India is full of pesticides. Farmers are using it, not fully knowing how dangerous it is. The residue seeps into ponds, canals, soil, and whatever is grown and eaten by animals and humans has some amount of pesticide residue. We cannot wholly wash it. We are living with it. This issue is grim and must be addressed as top

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M. Saleem Shishgar

priority. This is the reason that initially EU said to India, “Thank you, we do not want to take your produce.” This forced us to introspect and improve. And India is now following WTO export regime, and successfully exporting agri-products. Apple: Our Pride Apple is our pride as dry fruits are. We are historically known to produce the finest quality apples loved by one and all. Our growers are self-motivated


State Talk and follow ethics that cannot be compromised. That is why you heard D. P. Singh (Zonal Director, NHB) saying that traders run and compete to buy the entire load of apples that come from our state at Azadpur Mandi. You see that even in the third row inside a carton, the size and colour of apples are same as it is on the top row. Fruits & Dry Fruits We have 3 temperate zones. We produce 2 MT apples, and 75% fruits of the country are produced in J&K. 3.5 lakh hectares of land are used to grow fruits in the state. 40% A-grade dry-fruits are produced in South Kashmir. B and C grade are produced in North part. 6 lakh farmers are engaged in horticulture, producing crops including dry fruits worth Rs. 4000 crore. We need around 2.4 crore plants annually. We have two dedicated departments, Marketing and Planning, to help our growers in getting the highest profits and to enable them in competing against the best. We are planning more cold storages. Tulip Garden is our other success story. Due to government support and

floriculture industry’s initiatives, now we are next to only Holland in producing tulip. It has become a tourist spot. (Kavita Poddar of Pushpa Bitan Friendship Society, and Bharat Bhojane of Rise N Shine gave Salim an advice to start Tulip Festival to give more impetus to floriculture and tourism. The advice was appreciated by Salim instantly) Saffron is also our pride. We have given necessary technology to the growers. Walnut trees take a lot of place as their girth and spread is huge-100 feet diameter, so our farmers are slightly less interested in that. But we can see where we can grow it more. We are also known as exporters of pesticide-free walnuts. 93% world walnut market is dominated by our walnuts. And as Dr. A.P.S. Gill has suggested, we cannot ignore this valuable historical crop. Issues Poor monitoring is our failure. We should know that only meetings are not enough. We have to be on the ground, in the field, and very open to new ideas and their implementation. We are also as fragmented as the rest of India. This

is another impediment that can be addressed by creating co-operatives, and following cluster approach. We need new varieties and must keep on replacing old varieties with new varieties of plants. But they are expensive, and here the government has a role to play. Pollination, micro-nutrient, mechanization, insect problems are other issues that need urgent attention. Value addition is also a concern. But above all, our focus is and will be on producing organic fruits. n

Kashmir to focus on its unique ‘Saffron’

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ne stigma of saffron weighs about 2 mg; each flower has three stigmata; 1,50,000 of flowers must be picked one by one in order to produce 1 kg spice. In India, saffron is exclusively cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir until now. Some cases of saffron cultivation have been reported recently in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In Jammu & Kashmir, district Pulwama accounts for 78.91 per cent saffron area followed by Budgam (12.27 per cent), Srinagar (7.32 per cent) and Doda (1.5 per cent). Area under saffron cultivation has declined from about 5,707 hectares (ha) in 1996 to just 3,715 ha in 20092010. Productivity has also declined from 3.13 kg/ha to 2.50 kg/ha. Trends available from trade estimates show that current domestic production is less than 10 tonnes. And owing to this trend, imports into India stand at approx 5 tonnes, 90 per cent of it from Iran.

Two prominent initiatives are going to become game changers for saffron cultivation and enhancement in Kashmir; and are hopeful that by end of the decade, India will recapture the lost glory in saffron production. The first initiative is the setting up of “National Mission on Saffron” (a 373crore project up to 2014) and a “Saffron Park” (an Rs 22-crore project) as an integrated production facility in Pampore. Under Mission saffron, growers are given a specified amount to meet fertilisers and pesticides requirements, in addition to guidance and monitoring. In 2011, the Government has already dispensed Rs 10 crore of the Rs 17 crore of incentives covering more than 3,500 growers owning 350 hectares of saffron land. The one-time incentive will be extended to all the 3,700 hectares in four years. To improve productivity the replanting of the existing saffron area is being done to get 3,715 hectares of land till 2014 with an average productivity level to

5 kg/ha. It is expected that production would, thereby, rise to 18.50 tonnes. A major part of Mission saffron is also the establishment of a saffron park to provide better marketing facilities to the growers. This park will have a world class quality control laboratory, an e-auction centre and provide global best practices of farm-to-fork” chain for saffron. India's saffron consumption is estimated at 20 tonnes a year, half of which is met by leading producers Iran, Spain and China. Kashmir, one of the only four producers of saffron in the world, barely consumes a fraction of what it produces. Most of its output goes to the plains with exports of just about four tonnes. There is an opportunity for developing a nationwide brand of saffron. Besides, this is a nation where a burgeoning middle class is now craving for a wide range of products with health benefits, which is a big driver for increase in consumption.

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Food Systems

Future of Agriculture and Food Systems

Can we deliver? Vijay Sardana

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ith increasing awareness and competition, consumers are becoming very demanding about their health and performance oriented. “Right Food� is becoming a major item to ensure good health and high perfomance. Keeping leadership in food and food processing industry, one will have to work with advance concepts and technologies like molecular biology, nanotechnology and nano-bio-info in the future. The markets are changing already. Conventional wisdom will be of little help. Consumers will experience product which never existed earlier. Market leaders with knowledge based research and development capability will define the consumer choices. Soon, companies will design food by shaping molecules and atoms. Molecular biology, Nano-scale-biotech and Nanobio-info will have big impacts on the food and food-processing industries. The future belongs to new products, new processes with the goal to customize and personalize the products. Commodities and mass produced product may act as carrier of high performance molecule based systems. Focus will be on improving the functionality, shelf-life, safety and quality of food. More than 200 applications are in different developing stages and a few of them are on the market already. The Nano-food market is expected to surge from current USD 10 billion to USD 50 Billion in 2020 or earlier. More than 200 Companies around the world are today active in research and development. USA is the leader followed

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Vijay Sardana by Japan and China. By 2010, Asian with more than 50 percent of the world population will be the biggest market for Nano-food with the leading market in China. Where India will stand? We have no idea because out food laws and policy planners are still trying to accommodate developments of 1970s into the production system. Weak government R&D systems also delays in giving approval to new concepts. Indian Entrepreneurs are still focused on commodities. R&D investment by private sector in food processing is negligible. On the one side, further breakthroughs in crop DNA decoding, analyzing and modification enable the industries to predict, control and improve the agricultural production. On the other side, with technology of manipulating the molecules and the atoms of food, the future food industry

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has a powerful method to design food with much more capability and precision, lower costs, performance and sustainability. Meanwhile, the combination of DNA and nanotechnology research will generate the new nutrition delivery system, which will bring the active agents more precisely and efficiently to the wanted and targeted parts of the human bodies and cells. Functional food will benefit firstly from the new technologies, followed by standard food, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and others. Some companies are already aware of the impact of nanotechnology in food industry. Research facilities are established, potential applications are under study, whereas only a handful of Nano-food products are in the market available for sale. Nevertheless, the tremendous potential will attract more and more companies and competitors


Food Systems Soon, companies will design food by shaping molecules and atoms. Molecular biology, Nano-scale-biotech and Nano-bio-info will have big impacts on the food and food-processing industries. The future belongs to new products, new processes with the goal to customize and personalize the products. Commodities and mass produced product may act as carrier of high performance molecule based systems

into this still unexplored but hugely attractive field. The number of the companies involved in this field will increase from a few in to several thousand in years to come. Who is afraid of advance technologies in Agri-Food systems? Molecular technologies are disruptive technologies and change the conventional method of production faster than most scientists and NGOs expect. Many convention systems and their leaders will shake and fall. Many existing leaders may face tough challenges. It can make the products cheaper, the production more efficient, more safe and more sustainable using less water and chemicals. Precision will be the key word. Producing less waste and using less energy. The change will be dramatic, the potentials are immense and the risky too. The main driver for increasing the speed for these technologies within the next few years are climate change, limited natural resources, cost efficiency and population growth. New food systems may also either replace or supplement new applications using food as drugs and nutrition. What to expect in coming years? Future will be for multi-dimensional and multi-impact approach with precision. In coming years, there will be close interaction within the field of life science, pharma, food, cosmetics, bioinformatics, information technology, environmental technology for environmental protection, energy and renewable energy, biotechnology and brain science, neural technologies, medicine technology and water, drinking water and waste water will increase. Convergence of nanotechnology – bio-technology - cosmetic – information - neural technology will define the future path. The converging nano – bio - neural information technology will be the overall

revolution in the 21st century in the area of nutrition, cosmetic and health sciences. It will open new windows for human beings, new developments and innovations change the society and human beings will live with smaller footprints and realize sustainable developments. Neural technologies and the decoding of the brain-function, DNA-based technologies and processes will determine the Molecular Future. As we know that the DNA is the information and has the instructions for every cell. The cell will be the basic and prototype for nanotechnology. The RNA's are the components for the interactions. This opens a new understanding of human being and functions, and the 'Molecular Nature'. A new window is opened. This will focus on the impacts and applications of nanotechnology in the different fields, scientifically examine, collect and evaluate all companies, markets, branches, applications, developments, state of science and expected developments worldwide, and provide projections for the next decade. Laws and legal frame work will be required to deal with these powerful technologies to ensure safe deliveries. These “Dreamliner” must not ground due to lack credible data and legal framework. Big question: Are we ready to face the technology on revolution in food to meet our nutrition problem and poor productivity challenges? Critics of technology and development will create resistance in the name of bio-diversity and environment issues. Do they have alternate plan to feed India. If yes, why it is not working and delivering. Why these issues are not fixed so far. Do we have alternate plan to feed India by ensuring food security for poor consumers and to meet consumer health aspirations?

Who will lead the development in India? No amount of management skill can fill the leadership gap. The bigger question is who will take lead the development in India for the welfare of 1.25 billion population or we will continue to fight battles in market with outdated concepts and certain NGOs with no real stake in development will continue to act as roadblocks based on fear, perceptions and threats, to satisfy their own agenda or agenda of their donors at the cost of national development. No scientific development can be perfect from the day one. That is why constant R&D is required. No system, no institution or individual can talk of development without going through a process of learning by mistakes. Those who don’t want to make mistakes and dream of perfect solution from the day one, can never be part of development process. Can we think of India without Hunger without modern technology and without adding pressure on land and natural resources? Let the critics have the objective plan with facts and figures to address the problems on ground and to feed hungry before we discourage modern science. It is high time all right thinking people in industry, media and policy system must express their views with objective assessment. While doing so, let us be clear, we can’t please everyone. Still, you have to do it for your future generation. “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem in fight against hunger and health.” Based on your experience, do send your suggestions, how to deliver low cost food to 1,250 million Indians on sustainable basis. (Vijay Sardana is well known internationally recognized food security and agribusiness expert. Views are personal.) sardana.vijay@gmail.com

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FDI

FDI in multi-brand retail

Practical interpretation & relaxation of conditions Paresh Parekh, Tax Partner: retail & consumer products, Ernst & Young

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arliament has approved foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. However, the stringent riders seem to have wiped the smile off the face of multinational retail players. After a long-drawn discussion, the Government opened doors to FDI in multi-brand retail trading, but the conditions regulating foreign inflow have left foreign players undecided yet. The welcome mat rolled out to foreign multi-brand retailers is embedded with a minimum investment requirement of $100 million. There is still ambiguity over whether this is supposed to be a bullet investment or a phased investment. However, as investment in retail industry often entails a high gestation period and the need for a phased rollout, it is envisaged that the investment too should be in phases. Also, when foreign players buy out an existing Indian multi-brand retail business to enter this lucrative market, it is hoped that the investment on the transaction would be considered towards meeting this minimum investment criteria. Furthermore, retailers are required to invest 50 per cent of the total FDI in ‘backend infrastructure’ within three years of the first tranche of the FDI. The rider explicitly excludes expenditure on land cost and rentals from backend infrastructure. This will likely worry some players as the principal chunk of

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backend cost may comprise land cost/ rent of warehouses and cold storage spaces. Without these, retailers may find it challenging to meet the 50 per cent criterion. The Government may consider including expenditure on land cost and rentals of backend infrastructure in meeting the 50 per cent investment condition or, at the least, clarify that backend infrastructure expenses include working capital expenses for backend infrastructure. It is known that while initial investment in backend infrastructure is high, the marginal expenditure on it when scaling up operations may not be as high. Accordingly, it may be suggested that the 50 per cent criterion should be applicable only to the initial investment by the foreign player and not on subsequent investments. Many of the large foreign retailers already have backend facilities for their existing wholesale ventures. Now, their foray into retail may not necessitate new backend infrastructure. In such cases, there should be a relaxation as business exigencies may not permit further investment in backend infrastructure. Under the policy, multi-brand retailers should source 30 per cent of manufactured/ processed products from Indian ‘small industries’ (with investment in plant and machinery not exceeding $1 million). Apart from worries over quality, the mandatory sourcing from ‘small industries’ would restrict the retailer in achieving economies of scale, consistencies in product range and technical specialisations. Also, with the sourcing condition, a big player looking at

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large investments would incur high costs towards training a large number of small suppliers, with the brand reputation at stake. In the future, when the retailers look for expansion, it would be difficult to continue sourcing from small industries. Moreover, the very sourcing by the retailer would eventually lead to the ‘small industry’ outgrowing its stature and violating the condition. The solution perhaps lies in limiting the classification of a ‘small industry’ for a specified period of time. Retailers also call for industry-wide consistency in FDI regulations. Just as the liberalisation of the 30 per cent sourcing condition in single-brand retail trading, multi-brand retailers too should be allowed to source 30 per cent from India — with a preference towards MSME, cottage, rural and handicraft industries — and not as a mandatory condition. While e-commerce is steadily gaining ground, the regime makers have explicitly kept out foreign retailing investors from this segment. The e-commerce retail industry, growing at more than 50 per cent, is a huge attraction for foreign retail investors. They can now only hope that the Government would open the doors for FDI in e-commerce retailing or treat e-commerce as another service industry and allow 100 per cent FDI. FDI in multi-brand retail has been widely hailed as one of the boldest moves by the Government, but its implementation calls for practical interpretation and relaxation of conditions in certain cases. Thus, foreign retailers may have to strategise their investments in India. n


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Agri Affairs In this first article of a three –part series on Indian horticulture, the author discusses the role of horticulture as the growth driver of India’s agriculture GDP. The subsequent articles cover the global competitiveness of India’s agriculture, and the steps being taken to ensure that growth is both sustainable and inclusive.

Horticulture

The Growth Driver of Indian Agriculture sector Sanjeev Chopra

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he horticulture sector, with a wide array of crops – ranging from fruits and vegetables to orchids and nuts, mushrooms and honey - has been a driving force in the stimulating a healthy growth trend in Indian agriculture. India is currently producing 257.2 million tonnes of horticulture produce from an area of 23 million ha. What is significant is that over the last decade, the area under horticulture grew by about 3.8% per annum but production rose by 7.4% per annum. Given the increasing pressure on land, the focus of growth

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strategy is on raising productivity by supporting high density plantations, protected cultivation, micro irrigation, quality planting material, rejuvenation of senile orchards and focus on post harvest management to ensure that farmers do not lose their produce in transit from farm gate to the consumer’s plate. Fruits With a production of 76.4 million tonnes, fruits accounts for about 30 per cent of the total production of horticulture crops. The area under fruit

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crops during 2011-12 was 6.6 million ha, which is almost 29 per cent of area under horticulture in India. The area under fruit crops has increased from 4.0 million ha in 201-02 to 6.7 million ha in 2011-12 with corresponding increase in production from 43.0 to 76.4 million tonnes. A large variety of fruits are grown in India. Of these, banana, mango, citrus, papaya, guava, grape, sapota, pomegranate, pineapple, aonla, litchi, pear, plum, walnut, etc are important. India accounts for 13 percent of the total world production of fruits and leads the world in the production of mango, banana, papaya, sapota, pomegranate, acid lime and aonla. The leading fruit growing states are Maharashtra which accounts for 16.0 per cent of production followed by Andhra Pradesh (13.0%), Gujarat (10.0%), Karnataka (9.0%), Uttar Pradesh (8.0%), Tamil Nadu (7.0%) and Bihar (5.0%) altogether contributes for about 68.0 percent of the total fruit production in the country. Banana is the major fruit accounting for 35 per cent of total production followed by mango (4.0%), citrus (11.0%), papaya (6.0%), others (17.7%) in the country. It may also be mentioned that in the Himalayan states of Himachal and J&K the GDP from apples, plums, pears and stone fruits exceeds that of GDP from cereal crops. Vegetables Vegetables are also an important constituent in horticulture sector which are mostly low gestation and high income generating crops. Many


Agri Affairs Vegetables are also an important constituent in horticulture sector which are mostly low gestation and high income generating crops. Many vegetables are now grown under protected cultivation like green houses and shade nut houses with a scope for ‘off –season’ production, which fetches remunerative prices. Vegetables occupied an area of 8.9 million ha during 2011-12 with a total production of 155.9 million tonnes having average productivity of 17.4 tonnes/ha. Vegetable production registered a quantum jump of 77 per cent between 2001-02 and 2011-12 vegetables are now grown under protected cultivation like green houses and shade nut houses with a scope for ‘off –season’ production, which fetches remunerative prices. Vegetables occupied an area of 8.9 million ha during 2011-12 with a total production of 155.9 million tonnes having average productivity of 17.4 tonnes/ ha. Vegetable production registered a quantum jump of 77 per cent between 2001-02 and 2011-12. More than 40 kinds of vegetables belonging to different groups are grown in India in tropical, sub tropical and temperate regions. Important vegetable crops grown in the country are potato, tomato, onion, brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, okra, chilies, beans, melons, etc. The leading vegetables growing states are West Bengal which accounts for 15% of production followed by Uttar Pradesh (12%), Bihar (10.0%), Andhra Pradesh (8.0%), Madhya Pradesh (6.5%), Gujarat (6.4%), Tamil Nadu (5.8%), Maharashtra (5.7%), Karnataka (5.0%) and Haryana (3.0%) altogether contributes about 83.4% of the total vegetable production in the country. Among vegetables, potato is the major vegetable accounting for 27.0% followed by tomato (12%), onion (11.0%), brinjal (8.0%), cabbage (5.4%), cauliflower (4.7%), okra (4.0%), peas

(2.5%) and others (25.4%) in the country. India is the second largest producer of vegetables after China and is a leader in production of vegetables like peas and okra. Besides, India occupies the second position in production of brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower and onion and third in potato and tomato in the world. Vegetables such as potato, tomato, okra and cucurbits are produced abundantly in the country. Spices India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and spice products in the world. Over 100 plant species are known to yield spices and spice products among which around 50 are grown in India. India is known as the home of spices producing a wide variety of spices like black pepper, chilies, ginger, turmeric, garlic, cardamom and variety of tree and seed spices. Major spice producing states are Andhra Pradesh (19.0%), Gujarat (15.0%), Rajasthan (14.7%), Karnataka (8.0%), Madhya Pradesh (7.7%) and Tamil Nadu (7.0%). The spice production in India is currently estimated at 5.95 million tonnes from an area of about 3.21 milion ha. The production of spices in the country has registered a substantial increase over the last ten years with average annual growth of 5.8%. Chili

Value of Export of Horticulture Commodity

is the major spice crop occupying about 25% of area under cultivation and contributing 22% of total spice production in the country. Garlic accounts for 8.0% of area with 21.0% share in production, while turmeric accounts for 6.8% of area with 19.6% share in production. Flowers India has made noticeable advance in the production of flowers, particularly cut flowers, which have a good potential for exports. During 2011-12, floriculture covered an area of 0.32 million ha with a production of 2.6 million tonnes of loose flowers and 75066 million numbers of cut flowers. This sector is generating higher income and employment opportunities especially for women. While India has been known for growing traditional flowers such as jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum, tuberose and aster, the commercial cultivation of cut flowers like roses, orchids, gladiolus, carnation, gerbera, anthurium and lilium has become popular in recent times. The important flower growing states are West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, North East, etc. Major area is devoted to production of marigold, jasmine, roses, chrysanthemum, tuberose, etc. The area under cut flowers having stems has increased manifold. Orchids, anthurium, lilium, gerbera and seasonal bulbous flowers are increasingly being grown both for domestic and export markets. Growth in Exports Not only have these impressive production figures ensured a steady supply for the domestic market, they have also made Indian horticulture exports globally competitive. Over the last decade, there has been a significant improvement in export earnings in horticulture. The horticulture division is working closely with APEDA and state governments to ensure that infrastructure and institutional support for export is available to ensure that farmers’ can leverage export markets for higher incomes. (To be continued/-) (The author is Joint Secretary & Mission Director, NHM & NMMI, Union Ministry of Agriculture)

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Food Campaign

UNEP, FAO & Partners Launch Global Campaign to Change Culture of Food Waste

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eneva, 22 January - Simple actions by consumers and food retailers can dramatically cut the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted each year and help shape a sustainable future, according to a new global campaign to cut food waste launched today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners. Think. Eat. Save. Reduce Your Foodprint. campaign is in support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption - run by the FAO and trade fair organizer Messe DĂźsseldorf - and the UN Secretary General's Zero Hunger Initiatives. The new campaign specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry. The campaign harnesses the expertise of organizations such as WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), feeding the 5,000 and other partners,

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including national governments, who have considerable experience targeting and changing wasteful practices. Think.Eat.Save. aims to accelerate action and provide a global vision and information-sharing for the many and diverse initiatives currently underway around the world. Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages - harvesting, processing and distribution - while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain. "In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense - economically, environmentally and ethically," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilizers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted - not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away," he added. "To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need a transformation in the way we produce and consume our natural resources."

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

"Together, we can reverse this unacceptable trend and improve lives. In industrialized regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption," said JosĂŠ Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General. "This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world." "If we can help food producers to reduce losses through better harvesting, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods, and combine this with profound and lasting changes in the way people consume food, then we can have a healthier and hunger-free world," Graziano da Silva added. The global food system has profound implications for the environment, and producing more food than is consumed only exacerbates the pressures, some of which follow: l More than 20 per cent of all cultivated land, 30 per cent of forests and 10 per cent of grasslands are undergoing degradation. l Globally 9 per cent of the freshwater resources are withdrawn, 70 per cent of this by irrigated agriculture. l Agriculture and land use changes like deforestation contribute to more than 30 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. l Globally the agri-food system accounts for nearly 30 per cent of enduser available energy.


Grain Test

Grain Quality

Assessment of quality through image processing Soumitra Tiwari, Amarjeet Kaur, Mahesh Kumar

I

mage processing can be used to replace tedious visual inspections for purity, color, and size characteristics of grains. It also has the potential for measuring the vitreousness of durum wheat. Determination of aspect ratio distribution is important for elongated, needle-shaped particles whose utility and/or value may depend on this feature. In this work rice grain is taken as an example of such a particle and its aspect ratio distribution in various samples is found using image processing. Technique is useful to quantify mixed or adulterated grains because it is possible to know the undesired content within 10 percent accuracy. In the food industry, some quality evaluation is still performed manually by trained inspectors, which is tedious, laborious, costly and inherently unreliable due to its subjective nature. Increased demands for objectivity, consistency and efficiency have necessitated the introduction of computer-based image processing techniques. Recently, computer vision employing image processing techniques has been developed rapidly, which can quantitatively characterize complex size, shape, colour and texture properties of foods. Image processing systems

play a more and more important role in the food quality evaluation by maintaining accuracy and consistency while eliminating the subjectivity of manual inspections. They offer flexibility in application and can be reasonable substitutes for the human visual decision-making process. In order to develop an automated system for food quality evaluation, image processing techniques are often combined with mechanical and instrumental devices to replace human manipulative effort in the performance of a given process. In such a system, the image processing system is the centre, which controls the operation of the machinery. The application potential of image processing techniques to the food industry has long been recognised (Tillet, 1990). The food industry ranks among the top ten industries using image processing techniques (Gunasekaran, 1996), which have been proven successful for the objective and non-destructive evaluation of several food products. Food processors are increasingly investigating new and innovative technologies for food quality and safety profiling. TI or infrared (IR) thermography is a two-dimensional, non-contact diagnostic technique for measuring surface temperature of materials which can be usefully employed in non-destructive quality evaluation (Giorleo & Meola, 2002).

The potential of this technique was first demonstrated ca. 50 years ago, however, the first reported TI studies were limited due to the poor sensitivity of the TI systems available. Image processing is a relatively young discipline with its origin traced back to the 1960s. Following an explosion of interest during the 1970s, it has experienced continued growth both in theory and application. Sonka et al. (1999) reported that more than 1000 papers are published each year in the expanding fields of computer vision and image processing. Applications of these techniques have now expanded to various areas such as medical diagnostic, automatic manufacturing and surveillance, remote sensing, technical diagnostics, autonomous vehicle and robot guidance. Image processing is the construction of explicit and meaningful descriptions of physical objects from images (Ballard and Brown, 1982). Timmermans (1998) states that it encloses the capturing, processing and analysis of twodimensional images, with others noting that it aims to duplicate the effect of human vision by electronically perceiving and understanding an image. The basic principle of computer vision is described in Fig. 1. Image processing and image analysis are the core of computer vision with numerous algorithms and methods available to achieve the

Grain quality attributes are very important for all users and especially the milling and baking industries. Computer vision has been used in grain quality inspection for many years. An early study by Zayas et al. (1989) used machine vision to identify different varieties of wheat and to discriminate wheat from non-wheat components AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

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Grain Test required classification and measurements (Krutz et al.,2000). Image processing with computer vision systems have been used increasingly in the food and agricultural industry for inspection and evaluation purposes as they provide suitably rapid, economic, consistent and objective assessment (Sun, 2000). They have proved to besuccessful for the objective measurement and assessment of several agricultural products (Timmermans, 1998). Over the past decade advances in hardware and software for digital image processing have motivated several studies on the development of these systems to evaluate the quality of diverse and processed foods (Locht et al., 1997; Gerrard et al., 1996). Computer vision has long been recognised as a potential technique for the guidance or control of agricultural and food processes (Tillett, 1990). Therefore, over the past 20 years, extensive studies have been carried out, thus generating many publications. The majority of these studies focused on the application of computer vision to product quality inspection and grading. Traditionally, quality inspection of agricultural and food products has been performed by human graders. However, in most cases these manual inspections are time-consuming and labour-intensive. Moreover the accuracy of the tests cannot be guaranteed (Park et al., 1996). By contrast it has been found that computer vision inspection of food products, was more consistent, efficient and cost effective Also with the advantages of superior speed and accuracy, computer vision has attracted a significant amount of research aimed at replacing human inspection. Recent research has highlighted the possible application of vision systems in other areas of agriculture, including the analysis of animal behavior (Sergeant et al., 1998), applications in the implementation of precision farming and machine guidance (Tillett and Hague, 1999), forestry (Krutz et al., 2000) and plant feature measurement and growth analysis. Grain classification and quality evaluation Cereal quality requirements differ with respect to the end users such as the preparation of varieties of bread, cakes, cookies and pasta products. The current visual classification procedure is demanding, even for trained inspectors because of the wide variation in visual

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characteristics caused by contrasting class, varietal and environmental effects. Zayas et al. (1996) found that the physical characteristics of wheat could be used as the basis for the development of an objective wheat classification method. By the use of computer vision and crush force features, differentiation rate between hard and soft wheat was 94% for the varieties tested. A feature selection method based on an orthonormal transformation was used to discriminate digitised wheat cultivars (Uthu, 2000). Recognition of durum wheat cultivars and bread wheat cultivars was 82% and 81% respectively for the samples examined. In a comprehensive study Majumdar and Jayas (2000a, 2000b,2000c, 2000d) investigated the use of morphology models, colour models, texture models and a combined model of all three for the classification of cereal grains. A total of 23 morphological, 18 colour, 25 textural features were tested on the training data set of 31,500 kernels. High accuracies were recorded for all the models examined ranging from 76% to 100%. The mean accuracies of the combined morphology–texture–colour model were 99.7% and 99.8% when tested on the independent and the training data sets of CWRS(Canada Western Red Spring) wheat, CWAD (Canada Western Amber Durum) wheat, barley, oats and rye. Similar research investigated the classification of dockage components from cereal grains and found that a morphology– colour model could classify test sample with a mean accuracy of 90.9% (Nair, Jayas, & Bulley, 1997).

Figure 1-Image processing of corn: (a) the digitised image of a corn germplasm, (b) the background removed image and (c) the extracted boundary of the image (Panigrahia et al., 1998).

The classification of germ plasms (ear of corn) was performed by use of an algorithm developed to discriminate round-shaped samples based on two features (Panigrahia, Misrab, & Willsonc, 1998). Two different approaches based on fractal geometry and higher order invariant moments were used

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

for classification of non-round shaped germplasms. Fig. 1 shows the digitised image of a corn germplasms. This study found that both the fractal and invariant moment approaches have potential to be used for shape discrimination between cylindrical and noncylindrical germplasms with an overall accuracy of 82.5% for this classification. Wheat Grain quality attributes are very important for all users and especially the milling and baking industries. Computer vision has been used in grain quality inspection for many years. An early study by Zayas et al. (1989) used machine vision to identify different varieties of wheat and to discriminate wheat from non-wheat components. In later research Zayas et al. (1996) found that wheat classification methods could be improved by combining morphometry (computer vision analysis) and hardness analysis. Hard and soft recognition rates of 94% were achieved for the seventeen varieties examined. Twentythree morphological features were used for the discriminant analysis of different cereal grains using machine vision (Majumdar et al., 1997). Classification accuracies of 98, 91, 97,100 and 91% were recorded for CWRS (Canada Western Red Spring) wheat, CWAD (Canada Western Amber Durum) wheat, barley, oats and rye, respectively. 25 kernels per image were captured from a total of 6000 for each grain type examined. The relationship between colour and texture features of wheat samples to scab infection rate was studied using a neural network method (Ruan et al., 1997). It was found that the infection rates estimated by the system followed the actual ones with a correlation coefficient of 0.97 with human panel assessment and maximum and mean absolute errors of 5 and 2%, respectively. In this study machine vision-neural network based technique proved superior to the human panel. Image analysis has also been used to classify dockage components for CWRS (Canada Western Red Spring) wheat and other cereals (Nair et al., 1997). Morphology, colour and morphology colour models were evaluated for classifying the dockage components. Mean accuracies of 89 and 96% for the morphology model and 71 and 75% for the colour model were achieved when tested on the test and training data sets, respectively. Overall 6000 kernels for each grain type were analysed. Machine vision was used to identify weeds commonly


Grain Test found in wheat fields in experimentation by Zhang and Chaisattapagon (1995). Five shape parameters were used in leaf shape studies and were found effective in distinguishing broadleaf weed species such as pigweed, thistle and kochia from wheat. Corn In order to preserve corn quality it is important to obtain physical properties and assess mechanical damage so as to design optimum handling and storage equipment. Measurements of kernel length, width and projected area independent of kernel orientation have been performed using machine vision (Ni et al., 1997a). The algorithm accuracy was between 0.86 and 0.89 measured by the correlation coefficient between predicted results and actual sieving for a 500 g sample. The processing time of the size-grading program was reported as being between 0.66 and 0.74 s per kernel. Steenhoek and Precetti (2000) performed a study to evaluate the concept of two-dimensional image analysis for classification of maize kernels according to size category. A total of 320 maize kernels were categorised into one of 16 size categories based on degree of roundness and flatness. Classification accuracy of both machine vision and screen systems was above 96% for roundhole analysis. However, sizing accuracy for flatness was less than 80%. Ng et al. (1997) developed a machine vision algorithm for corn kernel mechanical and mould damage measurement, which demonstrated a standard deviation less than 5% of the mean value of the 250 grains examined. They found that this method was more consistent than other methods available. The automatic inspection of 600 corn kernels was also performed by Ni et al. (1997b) using machine vision. For whole and broken kernel identification on-line tests had successful classification rates of 91 and 94% for whole and broken kernels, respectively. The whiteness of corn has been measured by an on-line computer vision approach by Liu and Paulsen (1997). For the 63 samples tested the technique was found to be easy to perform with a speed of 3 kernels per second. In other studies Xie and Paulsen (1997) used machine vision to detect and quantify tetrazolium staining in corn kernels. The tetrazolium-machine vision algorithm was used to predict heat damage in corn due to drying air

temperature and initial moisture content. Rice As rice is one of the leading food crops of the world its quality evaluation is of importance to ensure it remains appealing to consumers. Liu et al. (1997) developed a digital image analysis method for measuring the degree of milling of rice. They compared the method with conventional chemical analysis and obtained a coefficient of determination of R2_/0.9819 for the 680 samples tested. Wan et al. (2000) employed three online classification methods for rice quality inspection:namely range selection, neural network and hybrid algorithms. The highest recorded online classification accuracy was around 91% at a rate of over 1200 kernels/min. The range selection method achieved this accuracy but required timeconsuming and complicated adjustment. In another study, milled rice from a laboratory mill and a commercial-scale mill was evaluated for head rice yield and percentage whole kernels, using a shaker table and a machine-vision system called the Grain check (Lloyd et al., 2000). Table 1 shows an overview of the main products, applications, accuracies of the systems and references used in the cereal industry.

A reported correlation between computer vision system and normal assessment technique Besides the progress in research, there is increasing evidence of computer vision systems being adopted at commercial level. This is indicated by the sales of ASME (Application Specific Machine Vision) systems into the North American food market, which reached 65 million dollars in 1995 (Locht et al., 1997). Gunasekaran (1996) reported that the food industry is now ranked among the top ten industries using machine vision technology. This paper reviews the latest development of computer vision technology with respect to quality inspection in the agricultural and food industry. Advantages and disadvantages The capabilities of digital image analysis technology to generate precise descriptive data on pictorial information have contributed to its more widespread and increased use (Sapirstein,1995). Quality control in combination with the increasing automation in all fields of production has led to the increased demand for automatic and objective evaluation of different products. Confirm that computer vision meets these criteria

Table - 1

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

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Grain Test and states that the technique provides a quick and objective means for measuring visual features of products. In agreement it found that a computer vision system with an automatic handling mechanism could perform inspections objectively and reduce tedious human. Human grader inspection and grading of produce is often a labour intensive, tedious, repetitive and subjective task. In addition to its costs, this method is variable and decisions are not always consistent between inspectors or from day to day (Tao et al., 1995a; Heinemann et al., 1994). In contrast Lu et al. (2000) found computer vision inspection of food products to be consistent, efficient and cost effective. Hence computer vision has been used widely in agricultural and horticulture to automate many labour intensive process (Gunasekaran, 2001). Even in 1993 Gunasekaran and Ding

(1993) agreed that machine vision was becoming increasingly popular in the food industry, and pointed out that its development was at a level where it is a robust and competitively priced sensing technique. Yin and Panigrahi (1997) noted that cost effectiveness of computer vision technology for the food industry applications is constantly improving. Computer vision is seen as an easy and quick way to acquire data that would be otherwise difficult to obtain manually (Lefebvre et al., 1993). Gerrard et al. (1996) recognized that machine image technology provides a rapid, alternative means for measuring quality consistently. Another benefit of machine vision systems is the nondestructive and un disturbing manner in which information is attained (Zayas et al., 1996), making inspection unique with the potential to assist humans involving visually intensive work (Tao

et al., 1995b). Tarbell and Reid (1991) noted that an attractive feature of a machine vision system is that it can be used to create a permanent record of any measurement at any point in time. Hence archived images can be recalled to look at attributes that were missed or previously not of interest. An ambiguity of computer vision is that its results are influenced by the quality of the captured images. Often due to the unstructured nature of typical agricultural settings and biological variation of plants within them, object identification in these applications is considerably more difficult. Also if the research or operation in being conducted in dim or night conditions artificial lighting is needed. (Authors: Soumitra Tiwari and Mahesh Kumar are from the Department of Food Processing & Engineering, and Amarjeet Kaur is from the Department of Food Science & Technology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana)

Rice procurement up 5% at 22.33 MT

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ice procurement by Government agencies has crossed the half-waymark of the targeted 40 million tonnes (mt) for the kharif marketing season 2012-13 starting October. Procurement as of end-January stood at 22.33 mt, up by 5 per cent over corresponding last year’s 21.17 mt. Procurement is higher in States

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such as Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, while in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh the procurement has seen a decline. Except for Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, procurement of paddy by State agencies has almost been completed in major rice growing States. Punjab has procured a total of 8.55 mt of rice this year against last year’s 7.73 mt, a growth of 10.6 per cent. Chhattisgarh has procured 3.76 mt (3.23 mt), while Haryana has registered an increase of 25 per cent in rice procurement at 2.5 mt (1.99 m t). In Odisha, rice procurement is up 55 per cent at 1.68 mt (1.08 mt). However, in Uttar Pradesh, the procurement is down 38 per cent at 1.25 mt (2.01 mt). The Government agencies had

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

procured 35 mt of rice in 2011-12 kharif marketing season and are targeting 40 mt in the current season. Central pool stocks Rice stocks in the Central pool as on January 1, stood at 32.22 million tonnes, more than twice the buffer and strategic reserves of 13.8 mt at this point in time. Similarly, the wheat stocks in the Central pool stood at 34.38 mt, about thrice the buffer and strategic reserve at this point in time. The total food grain in the Central pool stocks as on January 1, stood at 66.60 mt, more than twice the buffer and strategic reserve requirement at this point in time.


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Sweet War

Candy Vs Mithai: The war within Preethi Chamikutty

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ven the coldest and most antiseptic of office spaces in India is not immune to the charms of the festive season, a time that starts roughly around Navratri and extends all the way up to New Year. India may have passed over entirely on Halloween and trick or treating but office drones can usually be seen through this period, trawling from desk-to-desk getting their fill of mithai, dry fruits and assorted calorific treats. However, over the years, mithai and dry fruits have been in many cases replaced by boxes of chocolates and biscuits. These are fought over and consumed with equal gusto, by the average office goer. It’s a small but significant sign that all is not what it used to be in the Indian gifting space. Reason for changes So what really happened here? Why did a mithai eating nation become so sweet on chocolates? Ankur Bisen, VP-retail, Technopak offers some reasons: Things that are inefficient are getting rejected by customers. Changing consumer tastes, exposure, being welltravelled are all spurring change in consumption patterns. While these are socio-economic reasons, If one company

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has to be credited (or blamed) for this revolution, it is Cadbury. From being sold on the 'sweets for kids' platform through the 70s and 80s, in the mid-90 s Cadbury decided it also wanted to appeal to the young adult. That was when Shimona broke into a jig and ran out to the cricket field to congratulate her batsman boyfriend on his ton in a memorable commercial for Cadbury Dairy Milk. Besides increasing

appeal, Cadbury also tweaked its stock keeping units (SKUs).It launched a chocolate at 5 to increase preference for the brand among customers across the length of India. We wanted to give customers more reason to consume chocolate. We changed from being a product preferred by a few affluent people to something a lot of people can pick up, explains Anil Vishwanathan, VP, Cadbury India.

A few years ago, gifting during the festive season started with dry fruits and ended with mithai. Until a clutch of chocolate, confectionery and biscuit marketers from Cadbury to Parle to Britannia decided to change the rules of the game. They've made rapid progress so far in eating into the not always friendly neighourhood mithaiwala's once thriving business

Gifting segment Cadbury embarked on what Vishwanathan calls The Meetha Journey in 2004, which was also the year when its brand Celebrations, focused specifically on the gifting segment, was launched. An internal ethnographic research done by the company zeroed in on the various occasions in an Indians life when he consumes sweets or meetha, a space almost totally dominated by traditional mithai at the time. So be it passing an exam, or buying a vehicle, or even celebrating payday, a variety of occasions was identified as areas of opportunity. Rohit Srivastava, EVP, Contract India, the agency which works with Cadbury on its Celebrations range narrates an incident. While doing research it was as

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013


Sweet War if serendipity struck. In Delhi, people load their cars with 100-200 gift boxes during Diwali! It is huge! explains Srivastava. Ravi Deshpande, chairman and chief creative officer, Contract India recalls: When we realised that for a chocolate company to grow further gifting would have to play a key role, we started by putting together our existing array of chocolates Dairy Milk, Gems, 5 Star in an attractive gift pack to test the potential of chocolates as a gifting option. This gave birth to brand Cadbury Celebrations. Diwali was the low hanging fruit and proved to be the largest playing ground for chocolate gifting in the years to come. Next came Raksha Bandhan, because of what Deshpande calls teens' natural affinity towards chocolates. Today the team behind Celebrations have identified more occasions and given Indians many reasons to gift a pack. Besides being an aggressive advertiser, Cadbury has also made sure its created buzz around the brand at the right time in the right place. Be it on the streets of Ahmedabad or Kolkata or ferrying people from Mumbai to Delhi during Diwali,Cadbury made sure it not just ruled mindspace, but also roadways and air ways. Today not only does Cadbury command a lions share of the nontraditional gifting space, it has inspired companies like Britannia, Parle and even Pepsi and Coke to launch their own version of gift packs. Fighting for shelf space with Celebrations from Cadbury is Rejoice from Amul, Occasions from Parle and Shubh Kaamnayein from Britannia. Nestle opts for the simpler moniker of Assorted Gift Packs. While most experts we spoke to struggle to give a market size, Cadbury pegs the branded food gifting market to be worth Rs. 500 crore, half of which comprises only chocolates. The Celebrations brand is around Rs. 200 crore, which is incredible for a homegrown brand created and conceived in India, says Srivastava. Vishwanathan is happy about the progress Cadbury has made in India. The category context and evolution for Cadbury is unique to India. There is nothing like this internationally because there meetha means chocolate, he says. While the brand continues to make

inroads in urban India, Vishwanathan says rural markets will bring in the next era of growth. Cadbury may have showed the light to many brands, but for 70-year old Mumbai based regional brand Fantasie Chocolates, cocoa has been a way of life for a long time. Zeba Kohli, proprietor, Fantasie Chocolates, gets orders even on Republic Day and Independence Day besides festivals. Impact of weddings Weddings are another great demand driver, she says. Kohli attributes the longevity of Fantasie to the passion and creativity of the brand. Sample this. Fantasie has conducted chocolate-themed fashion shows, chocolate sculpting events, introduction of chocolate body paints and fun fairs. I like to stimulate people when we do something related to chocolate. If there is a new flavour that we are launching, we do a small event to unveil it, explains Kohli. Today Fantasie caters to clients across the country although its retail presence is restricted to Mumbai and Pune. While Vishwanathan says Cadbury doesn’t want to antagonize mithaiwallas, the reality is different. Bisen of Technopak says there has definitely been a drop in sale of Indian mithai: Some media reports peg a 30% drop in sale of dairy-based Indian sweets, which has a 2,500 crore annual market, he says. He attributes this dip to incidents of adulterated sweets that hit national headlines and eroded consumer confidence in the offering. Another interesting change is happening in the mithai shops itself. Retail shelf space for mithai has gone down. Today colas, packaged food, chips occupy considerable space. There is not much difference between a kirana shop and a sweet shop today, says Bisen. Parle launched Occasions three years

ago and according to Pravin Kulkarnii, marketing head, Parle Products, the brand was launched because the company sensed an opportunity. Food gifting s a growing market and Parle enjoys a good equity for our product among customers. There have also been many increments in our portfolio. Therefore we decided to launch gift packs, says Kulkarnii. The brand has sold 150 tonnes of its products during the Dasshera to Diwali season, every year since launch according to Parle. The range is available across country and Kulkarnii says there is good demand for its products even in Class 2 towns. On the advertising front Parle has been quiet so far, but Kulkarnii says that will change as they get aggressive in media from next year. Festivals According to Britannia, the festive season starts pre-Diwali and continues till Valentine's Day. Shalini Degan, category director - delight & lifestyle, Britannia says: "Our gifting mix is designed to add joyous moments, transforming them into delightful memories. We have judiciously priced ( 100 upwards) this entire range to make it available to everyone who wants to share good wishes. It causes the company to tailor its product mix and incorporate new products even as it repackages old favourites from its stable. When asked for a reaction to this new found interest in the space by other brands, one can sense some discomfort in voice of Cadbury's Vishwanathan. As long as people are investing to grow the market, it will be good, as the overall pie will grow. But right now most people are only riding on a ready-made platform built by us, he says. Courtesy: ET

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Grocery top selling segment at retail chains HRS Systems aims growth via FDI in retail

HRS

Process Systems Ltd (HRS PSL), part of UK based HRS Group, a heat transfer specialist, which operates at the forefront of thermal processing technology is eying business of Rs 100 crore from existing Rs 35 crore in the next five years. Also, it is targeting multi-brand retail FDI opportunity to the food processing industry. Large companies in this segment are already gearing up to introduce new verities of processed food products to suit the tastes of the Indian palette. Over 65 per cent of the company’s business in India is generated from the chemical process industry with a growth rate of 30 per cent year on year. The company is also exploring other sectors like food & beverage and pharma. Commenting on FDI in retail development, V Gokul Das, managing director, HRS Process Systems said,"Currently, the industry is facing the problem of efficient conversion of farm produce as the product gets easily perished before reaching the consumer. The need of the hour is advanced processing technology whereby we can process and store food for sufficient time required up to consumption. FDI will enable better cold storage and transportation facilities ensuring reduced wastage and more food available for processing thus enabling companies like HRS to provide innovative processing solutions of international standards at competitive prices."

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ass grocery and apparel are the two most favoured segments for foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, according to a study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India. The study, titled Indian Retail Market-Opening More Doors, which comes at time when the country has opened its doors to FDI in retail, says each policy condition is expected to have different implications on various retail sub-segments. “A policy condition might have a low impact in one segment but could be a major stumbling block for another segment. Mass grocery and apparel are two of the fastest growing organised retail segments in India today. In both

these segments, there are large domestic retailers who could be potential joint venture partners for foreign retailers,” Gaurav Gupta, Senior Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, said in a statement. He said foreign retailers could enter India by forming a joint venture company that could have multi-brand retail stores. “Alternatively, the foreign investor may also consider acquiring 51 per cent stake in the existing business set-up of the potential Indian joint venture partner,” he added. The report stated that the fact that mass grocery retailers already source many products directly from producers or food processing units was an advantage for this segment. But to meet sourcing guidelines and have better margins, foreign retailers would need to cultivate relationships with local manufacturers, it added. The study said the condition on sourcing would continue to be a major bottleneck for various segments such as consumer electronics, footwear, furniture and furnishing, among others.

Partnerships are key to success: Bayer

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artnerships are the key to the success of the global vegetable food value chain,” top officials of Bayer CropScience, one of the three subgroups of German conglomerate Bayer AG, with annual sales of close to €7.3 billion, told a gathering of about 200 industry experts and international vegetable food chain representatives at the inaugural of the Vegetable Future Forum. India is the world’s second largest producer of fruits and vegetables. Yield, quality and chemical residue are among the issues these crops face. Asserting that ‘biologics’ was the way forward to address these issues, company officials explained that a combination of modern chemistry or chemical solutions and ‘innovative biological pest management solutions based on natural microorganisms or

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

microbial extracts’ will help improve vegetable production, yield and quality. The company says the use of biologics will result in a reduction in pesticide residue on crops. For Bayer CropScience, offering biologics as a strategic addition to its product portfolio became possible with the acquisition of AgraQuest in the third quarter of this year for $425 million. AgraQuest is a leading company with strong technology platform and promising pipeline of products for the market. The company owns reputed brands such as Serenade, Sonata and Rhapsody. “Molecular biology, small molecules and biologics can be efficient solution providers for unmet customer needs”, company officials said adding the grower benefits from higher yield and improved quality.


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Negative outlook for Indian retail sector

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ndia Ratings has maintained a "negative outlook" for the retail sector with 'luxury segment' expected to be the worst hit in 2013. "India Ratings has maintained a negative outlook on the retail sector for 2013. This is because of protracted weakness in consumer's discretionary spending due to higher inflation, marginal real wage growth and low level of macro-economic activity," the agency said in its report. Observing that the retail sector registered a single digit growth in 2012 for the first time in the history, the report said "overall revenue is likely to grow at 3.0 per cent- 8.0 per cent year-on-year across large retailer." Sales in 2012 were driven by discount offers by companies and the trend is likely to continue in 2013, it said, adding "retailers focused on the luxury or premium segment may be worst hit." Stating that the working capital requirements may increase due to lower inventory turnover for companies, the report said "the industry's working capital cycle shortened in financial year 2012 due to heavy discount driven sales adopted by the retailers." "A sustained reduction in consumer

price inflation, coupled with rise in wages is likely to restore the discretionary spending of power of consumers. Government spending may also have a temporary beneficial (to the industry)," it said on the outlook for the industry. Stating that the agency expects the retail sector to remain 'negative', the report said liberalisation of FDI in multibrand retail could have a positive impact on the retail sector. Speaking with reporters in Mumbai, India Ratings director Deep Mukherjee said the agency is not expecting much activity in regards to equity infusion through foreign direct investment (FDI) route. "At present, FDI-based equity infusion is a theoretical possibility given the complex government requirements, the existing retailers may have to significantly restructure their businesses before receiving such investments," he said. On the short term, however, the agency has revised the outlook to be stable in the event of a sustained reduction in consumer price inflation, coupled with a rise in real wages, which would restore the discretionary spending power of consumers. "Alternately, a sudden spurt in government spending may have a temporary beneficial impact on private consumption, ultimately benefitting the sector. Companies in the sector that may be successfully able to attract equity investors, so as to deleverage their balance sheet significantly, are likely to improve their credit profiles," he added.

Punjab to waive off mandi fee

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aking a step forward in agriculture marketing reforms, Punjab may soon waive off market fees on fruits and vegetables, a move which iit is hoped, will benefit growers and consumers. The board of directors of the state agriculture marketing board has approved the abolition of market fees and has forwarded the proposal to the financial commissioner. Currently, market fees are being charged at 2 per cent on the wholesale price of fruits and vegetables. In order to compensate, the agriculture marketing

board is contemplating to introduce usage charges (like charges for usage of platform, electricity, water, sewerage, display etc.) per annum on traders.

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Future Group to follow franchise route

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uture Group’s urban and rural convenience store retail formats under KB’s Fair Price and Aadhar are poised to grow through the franchise route. Damodar Mall, Director, Food Strategy, Future Group, said, “KB’s Fair Price and Aadhar are being recognised as neighbourhood store brands and have established operations. Entrepreneurs can run these formats as they are now effective as neighbourhood stores and are profitable.” Post the restructuring of the Future Group, both these formats have now been brought under the listed entity — Future Ventures India. KB’s Fair Price, an indigenous concept, was created to compete with neighbourhood kirana stores and has presence in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. With 85 company-owned stores, it has the highest concentration of outlets in Delhi. “Through the franchise route, we intend having 300 additional outlets in Delhi with almost 500 outlets across the other metros,” he added. Having acquired another convenience store format Big Apple (with 38 stores) in Delhi recently, KB’s Fair Price would have to distinguish itself from this format in the future. “Big Apple is about fresh produce. We are synergising the back-end operations between KB’s Price and Big Apple. There are still no plans to consolidate these two and for the moment both are running as independent operations,” said Mall. Future Group has created these formats to cater to customers who prefer to shop at convenience stores and not malls. As for Aadhar, an acquired rural distribution format from Godrej, it is also poised for a franchise concept having undergone a pilot test in the recent past.

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Rajasthan registers 73% growth in agro exports

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ajasthan registered a 33% rise in exports in the financial year 201112 and maintained its 10 th position in the country. The official figures released by the department of industry show marginal growth in almost each sector but a mushrooming rise in agro products. With Rs 23,753 crore in the year 2010-11 exports from the state reached Rs 32,749 crore in 2011-12, an increase of Rs 8,996 crore in a year. The major contributor behind the sharp increase has been the rise in exports of agro and food products, marble and stones and chemicals from the state. The agro category witnessed an exemplary growth of 73%. In the year 2010-11 it was just Rs 2,869 but reached Rs 10,785.38 crore in 2011-12. The escalation was largely ridden on Guar gum, which was also the single biggest export from Rajasthan in the last financial year. Out of the total exports in the category its contribution was Rs 10,316 crore. "We have registered a significant rise in almost each sector. The growth looks good when you look at the prevailing situation outside where demand is sluggish. We are yet to achieve our threshold and therefore more possibilities to increase our tally. With many units setting up their plants in the state, exports will increase in subsequent years" said Rajendra Pareek, industry minister. However, the government officials are concerned and wary of the growth. "Certainly there is a rise in total exports but there are many rea sons to worry about. Growth triggered because of a single item, in this case guar gum can't be termed as positive," said the senior official.

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Nabard to develop food processing sector

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he National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) — in a bid to give the much-needed impetus to the food processing industry in Punjab — has identified six thrust areas for development of the sector. According to the focus paper prepared by Nabard, the state provides immense potential to the grain, fruit & vegetables, milk, meat & poultry, and honey-based industries. In Punjab, the credit requirement for food processing industry is estimated to be around Rs 1011 crore, according to the potential linked plan (PLP) prepared by Nabard, which further says that this provides ample opportunity for banks to lend money to these sectors. Further, according to rough estimates, there are 25,000 agro-based industries in Punjab, generating an annual revenue of Rs 1900 crore. According to a senior Nabard official, since Punjab is a major wheat and rice producing state, there is a lot of potential for wheat and rice processing units. Besides this, there are opportunities to set up grain-based industries such as bread and biscuit, rice and starch mills, rice bran oil, noodles and baby food, beer, whiskey and health drinks. Presently, only three crops — wheat (44 per cent), paddy

(33 per cent) and cotton (7 per cent) — account for more than 80 per cent of the total cropped area in the state. According to the PLP, there are also opportunities to set up fruit & vegetablebased industries to manufacture preservatives, pickles, sauces, puree, ketchup, canned products, dehydrated vegetables, potato chips, wafers, french fries etc. Milk-based industries can also be set up to produce pasteurised milk, sterilised milk, milk shakes, paneer, butter, ghee, sweets, milk powders, yoghurt, etc. The official also mentioned that besides these sectors, meat & poultrybased and honey-based industries can also be set up to help poultry, meat and honey farmers. Further, food parks should be made a hub for food and agro processing units. The potential of the area and the capacity of the processing units to tap this potential would dictate the setting up of these parks. This would help in effective utilisation of the infrastructure. According to the state focus paper, post harvest and marketing infrastructure, including grading, packaging, transportation and storage needs to be done on a larger scale. Also, value addition and processing industries offer tremendous opportunities for income and growth. This would provide the much needed thrust for the food processing industry. The main concern is the low capacity utilisation due to the lack of raw materials. Also, lack of storage infrastructure and cold chain marketing facility for both fresh and processed commodities is also a hindrance to the growth of the industry.

India-China to increase agri exports

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ndia has several times raised the issue of market access to China for agricultural products. India-China bilateral trade stood at $75.5 billion, but the ballooning trade deficit in Beijing's favour, which rose to about $40 billion in 2011-12, has raised concerns among Indian authorities. "India has consistently been raising the issue of market access and removal of the bottleneck of Indian agricultural

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products with the Chinese side," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said. She said that China has allowed entry of nine types of fruit - mangoes and grapes included - and eight varieties of vegetable, but 14 other fruits and vegetables are pending. The minster said the government was doping everything in its power to speed up market access and bridge the trade deficit.


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Lack of cold chain causing severe food losses: M K Shankarlinge Gowda

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he lack of post-harvest infrastructure in Karnataka is resulting in huge quantities of horticulture products in the state going waste. Apart from focusing on the enhancement of product and productivity, there is an urgent need to preserve horticulture and agriculture produce. In India nearly 30 per cent of the agricultural and horticultural produce is wasted, according to M K Shankarlinge Gowda, principal secretary, department of horticulture and agriculture, government of Karnataka. Inaugurating the five day international symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables organised jointly by University of Agricultural Sciences and International Society for Horticultural Science at UAS, he said horticulture is a very important area which keeps and holds the key progress of our country. After the success of the Green Revolution in agriculture, India is now moving towards the Golden Revolution comprising the fruits and vegetables which assumes great significance, adds value not only in the context of farmers’ income but also its

contribution to the national GDP. Currently the post harvest loss of fruits and vegetables is to the tune of Rs 44,000 crores ie, $10 billion due to unscientific technologies being followed, he said. Gowda said, Karnataka annually produces 15 million tonnes of fruits in 1.9 million hectares of land. He called on scientists to help make horticulture and agriculture knowledge-driven occupations. Aravindkumar, Deputy Director General (Education), Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi, said, India with the production of 260 million tonnes of foodgrains also faced with the challenges of feeding safe food free from pesticides and heavy metals to the growing population of 120 billion and one-sixth of the global live stock, apart from adapting to the fastchanging climate. Dr Prabhu Dev, chairman, Karnataka Health Systems Commission, Karnataka, delivering the keynote address, said all the seven major nutrients required for good health could be obtained by fruits and vegetables. Apart from nutrition, fruits and vegetable could save 2.7 million lives every year by the magic ingredients present in it. The phyto-chemicals exhibit antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anticancerous and prevent gastrointestinal problems, birth defects such as spina bifida and many more diseases. He strongly recommended a rainbow diet i.e., inclusion of all coloured fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.

European buying holds cashew steady

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ashew market was steady last week with a firm undertone following some moderate buying interest from Europe and several other markets. However, the US continued to remain quiet. Activity was limited to a few grades. The domestic market was reasonably active but there was no change in prices due to the flow of imported kernels. There was not much change in prices but for white wholes, there were very few offers at the lower end of the range. There was very little activity in the raw cashew nut (RCN) market. Prices were steady in the range of $1,325-1,350 a

tonne for Tanzania $900-1,000 a tonne for Mozambique and $850-1,050 for 2012 crop West African. High volatility in 2011 disrupted sales plans apart from financial losses to all links in the chain. Changes in buying pattern meant that despite adequate RCN availability, there were many periods in 2011 and 2012 when kernel supplies were tight leading to lost sales volume. Hopefully, recent history of 12 months of relative stability and prospects of trading in narrow range for coming months will result in some revival of confidence.

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Grapes & Groundnut exporters now need Apeda Registration

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xport of grapes to European Union (EU) and shipping of groundnuts to world markets will now require registration from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the Commerce Ministry has said. However, export of groundnuts and its products to Russia will not require such registration. "Export of groundnuts and its products to all countries except Russia would require registration from APEDA along with controlled aflatoxin level certificate by the recognised laboratories," Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. So far, compulsory registration of contracts with APEDA, along with controlled Aflatoxin level certificate, was required only for exports to EU. The notification said that export of groundnuts and its products to Russia would continue to be on the basis of pre-shipment certificate by notified laboratories. Besides, DGFT said: "Export of grapes to EU would require registration from APEDA". Several consignments of grapes were rejected by the European authorities due to the presence of a chemical residue. Grape exporters were facing losses due to this. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are major exporters of grapes and in order to keep the fruit fresh, chloromacvat chemical was used as a preservative. Grapes are harvested during February-April.

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Herbal paper extends the longevity of fruits and vegetables

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newly developed type of paper should keep foods such as fruit and vegetables fresh for longer. The product 'Fenugreen FreshPaper' is treated with herbs and spice extracts. This increases the longevity of fruits and vegetables by a factor between two and four, the European news agency 'pressetext' reports. In the US Fenugreen FreshPaper has already been judged 'safe' by the national food authority FDA. The product is already for sale there. What the herb mixture actually consists of, the producers wont say. Only the ingredient horn clover is known, reports 'pressetext', judging from the American media. The American Kavita Shukla came up with the idea of Freshpaper when visiting her grandmother in India. She made her a herbal drink, which Kavita investigated. "Basically, the elixir slows down the growth of bacteria and moulds. The formations of enzymes, which enhance the ripening process of fruits, are also limited," says Shukla. FreshPapers are small square papers that people place in the packaging with the food.

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iPad Restaurant a big hit

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ow often have you been disgusted with waiting for a steward/ waiter to take your order at a restaurant? Notwithstanding the rush and the long wait for a table during peak hours, the wait for someone to take the order can probably be more annoying. To tide over such a situation, Sree Annapoorna Hotel, a renowned group in this part of the country, has introduced the iPad at its newly opened outlet at the Fun City Mall in Coimbatore. The iPad, on five out of the 12 tables at this outlet, is aimed at doing away with the order-booking supervisor, albeit partially. “It is only a beta launch. After a successful pilot run, we intend to introduce it fully and extend it across our other outlets as well,” said Jegan S. Damodarasamy, Executive Director of Sree Annapoorna- Sree Gowrishankar

Hotels Pvt Ltd. When asked what made him come up with this idea, Jegan said “my visits to different restaurants across the country and outside, made me realise that as a customer, one did not have the freedom to see the food that he/she is ordering. Customers invariably place the order seeing the menu card and at times even without knowing what the dish would look like.” “The iPad serves not only as a menu card, but also gives a picture of the dish. It is an interactive card with 60-plus items on display. The customer can place his order on the touch screen and also make note of the bill amount from time to time.” This initiative, Jegan said , is aimed at tackling manpower shortage and quality of attenders for such jobs. “There is not only a shortage, but we are not getting quality hands too,” lamented Jegan. The idea has evoked a lot of interest. A number of customers, both young and old, were seen waiting to occupy one of the five tables. “The order is displayed directly in the kitchen. The chef gets the order ready, and the waiter serves it at the respective table,’ explained Jegan, who plans to improvise the application further.

An eatery in China where robots cook, serve food

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o need to tip this waiter! A sci-fi restaurant in China has employed robots to work as waiters, cooks, entertainers and receptionists. The restaurant has 18 types of robots, each gliding out of the kitchen to provide dishes, with speciality robots including a dumpling robot and a noodle robot. As a diner walks in, one of the robots extends its arm to the side and, with a sci-fi flourish, says “Earth Person, Hello, Welcome to the Robot Restaurant”, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. After the diners have placed their order, the robots in the kitchen start cooking and once the dish is prepared, a robot waiter, which runs along tracks on the floor, carries it from kitchen to the table. Prepared dishes are placed on a

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w February 2013

suspended conveyor belt and when the plate reaches the right table, the mechanical arms lift it off and sets it down. As people eat, a singing robot entertains diners. The robots have been designed and manufactured by a Chinese company. Chief engineer Liu Hasheng, said they invested $8 million in setting up the gen-next restaurant.


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McCain Foods to invest in Gujarat Unit

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anadian frozen foods maker McCain Foods will invest Rs 350 crore to increase the existing production capacity at Mehsana in Gujarat. The company sees increased demand from McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway and luxury hotels. "We will be investing in a third line for manufacturing thereby increasing the capacity by more than two times," said Vikas Mittal, MD, McCain Food India. He is quick to say that the next round of investment will be after two years. Popular for its smileys and aloo tikki, the company has since 2006 till date invested Rs 140 crore in its unit in Mehsana. With the proposed investment, the workforce is expected to go up by 50 per cent. Vikas says that growth in demand across retail, food service sector and quick service restaurants (QSR) were propelling them to go for the investment. With a presence in over 10,000 outlets across 60 tier I & II towns, the company now targets to be available across 50,0000 retail outlets in the next five years. "The real core is to drive QSR sales as eating habits are changing and people are now eating more of frozen food," he said. As a pilot project, the company has launched a McCain kiosk in a mall in New Delhi and is likely to come up with a franchisee model of the kiosk selling

McCain products. "In food retailing business, the returns are fast but we need to see that sales are good before we open up for franchising," said Vikas. Selling both Indian and international range of products, the company has recently branched out to sell cheesebased snacks and is working to introduce lentil-based snacks. "To meet the need of the Indian consumer, we are coming up with products which are familiar but unique. We are setting a Research & Development centre in New Delhi for this purpose," he said. Vikas feels that the market in frozen food was under-penetrated and the focus of the company was to help the market grow by educating consumers and also be available at retail stores. "The current price tag of our products provides value to consumers," he said. McCain's entry products -- from fries to smileys -- are in the price tag of Rs 35 per 200 gm. As per industry estimates, the frozen food industry in the organised sector ranges between Rs 3,500 and Rs 5,000 crore. As one of the biggest suppliers of french fries to McDonald's India, the company is also focusing on the South East Asian market apart from exporting to South Africa and Middle Eastern countries. McDonald's in collaboration with McCain Foods have been working with the farmers of Deesa and Kheda districts in Gujarat to cultivate the shepody potato variety. Both the companies have also joined hands to impart training to farmers based in Gujarat on the latest agri-technology to produce yield of the highest quality.

Green Haat showcases varieties of forest produce

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erbal products from forests, bamboo craft, over 100 varieties of paddy, a variety of millets and palatetickling cuisine using natural and organic products are on display in the Green Haat, Delhi. “It is absolutely vital to protect and promote the biodiversity of the country‌ and one way of doing this is to showcase it through organising such Green Haats," said Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment & Forests (MoEF), while inaugurating the event. The 15-day-long Green Haat is being

organised at Dilli Haat in South Delhi from January 16 to 31. It involves 10 States and about 55 organisations, including self-help groups. The idea behind the Green Haat, an initiative of the MoEF, is to raise awareness on the rich forest and biodiverse heritage.

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Coconut Board to diversify its products

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rban Indians, who have seen only a few coconut products like coconut oil and tender coconut water, will soon be deluged with a variety of products if the idea initiated by Coconut Development Board (CDB) bears fruit. CDB plans to market products like virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, milk powder and cream, desiccated coconut powder, coconut chips, ball copra and natural vinegar. "We have started the process of evolving a marketing strategy with innovative set of products, a distribution team, market survey and a consortium of existing manufacturers,'' said TK Jose, chairman, CDB. The Board will focus on 63 cities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Coconut prices are entirely dependent on the demand for coconut oil and copra and the idea is to reduce this dependency by introducing innovative products. Jose said coconut milk, desiccated coconut powder, virgin coconut oil and even tender coconut water imported from Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines have entered India, indicating demand. The Board intends to facilitate the setting up of 100 tender coconut water and desiccated coconut powder manufacturing units, 50 chips-making units and five virgin coconut oil enterprises in the next few years. "The production of coconuts in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka has gone up. It remains to be seen how they are channelised into innovative products,'' said Talath Mehmood, president of Cochin Oil Merchants Association. Technology is readily available and the cost of setting up a plant is not high but entrepreneurs are reluctant to enter the fray until they are assured of sufficient raw material supply and a good market. Initially, CDB plans to make use of cooperative network and consumer federations for distributing new products. As the number of units increases, a consortium of the players can be formed which can undertake the generic promotion of such products through exhibitions.

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Mother Dairy’s Ice Creams now in Hyderabad

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fter having won the heart of millions of consumers in different parts of the country, Mother Dairy’s Ice Cream is all set to delight the taste buds of consumers in Hyderabad. On 18th January, Mother Dairy launched its entire range which includes impulse and take-home ice-creams which also includes the premium “Classics” range. Speaking on venturing into Hyderabad, Subhashis Basu, Business Head, Dairy Products Division, said “Mother Dairy has a lot to offer to its consumers and therefore expanding to Hyderabad is a big step for us. We are sure that people of Hyderabad will enjoy the goodness of ice – creams in its purest form. Mother Dairy offers the widest and most comprehensive range of icecreams, with flavors developed for every occasion to delight everyone in all age groups.” Made from rich, creamy milk and superior ingredients Mother Dairy ice cream guarantees a delectable taste experience. Mother Dairy Ice Cream is made out of milk fat as opposed to frozen desserts.

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Food packages to have GM ingredients: Govt notification

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i t h effect from January 1, 2013, it has become mandatory to indicate on the principal display panel of all food packages containing geneticallymodified ( G M ) ingredients by stating GM, but the food processing industry is seeking a clarification about the same. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, issued a Gazette Notification to this effect, adding that food producers would also have to disclose the ingredient(s), if any. Confirming this to FnB News, B N Dixit, director, legal metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs, said, “The notification, under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (2{+n} {+d} Amendment) Rules, 2012, makes labelling mandatory.” “That is basically done to inform the consumer that genetically-modified ingredients are present in packaged food products,” he added. The packaged commodity rules are currently applicable to nineteen products, including biscuits, bread, cereals and pulses. The country's processed food industry wants the regulation withdrawn by the government till FSSAI frames rules to implement the labelling rule. However, no such rule has been announced yet. The background In India, the regulation of GM crops remains a subject of debate, and so far the country hasn't allowed the cultivation of any, barring Bt cotton. It is now upto the FSSAI, under the Ministry of Health, to look into the implementation of labelling.

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According to Dixit, it will help consumers make informed choices, as urban markets across India are flooded with imported GM foods, the processing of which takes place in the United States, Canada and South America. Maharashtra sets up committee The Maharashtra government has set up a committee headed by nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar. It comprises Umakant Dangat, agriculture commissioner (who will be its member secretary), and the vice-chancellors and research directors of the four state agricultural universities. Diliprao Deshmukh, vice-president, Maharashtra Organic Farmers' Federation (MOFF), said, “Without the nod of the ten-member panel, no company can even conduct a field trial of a GM crop developed by it.” In addition to obtaining the Centre's approval for a field trial, now companies will have to approach the state government for a no-objection certificate (NOC) to do so. In fact, a number of states have imposed a blanket ban on field trials. Environmentalists' version There is a lack of clarity in the notification as far as implementation is concerned, but the government's intention (to label GM products) itself isn't bad. They stated that at this point, consumer safety and consumer choice are not a guarantee. “We and the Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) would not only like the government to make the GM labelling rules more stringent, but also to clarify the threshold limits and the traceability aspects,” a sustainable agriculture campaigner with GreenPeace said. CCC, the apex body of consumer organisations in India, represents about 75 outfits and urged K V Thomas, minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, government of India, to make the role of the monitoring and regulatory authorities clear.


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Junk food can cause asthma in kids: Research

The study also asked if they had allergy symptoms. Researchers said their results do not prove cause and effect. “Fast food may be contributing to increasing asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is likely to protect against these diseases,” researchers said. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.

Olive oil has a lot of benefits

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ne of the hottest areas of current scientific research involves one of the tastiest ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine—olive oil. ‘Oliveitup’ is a three-year campaign financed by the European Union, in collaboration with Italy, for the promotion of European olive oil in India. Accomplished and produced by the Consortium of Guarantee for Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this campaign provides a series of training activities and information services to disseminate correct knowledge of olive oils of European origin, in terms of their quality and healthy attributes. Shedding light on the role played by olive oil in one’s diet, Maria Luisa Ambrosino, a PhD in food biotechnology, said, “Olive oil contains more mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) compared to all other edible oils. The antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil acts as scavengers in the blood, scoop out all the free radicals that we produce every single minute. MUFA protects us from heart disease while

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Fruits & Vegetables alone can’t cure hunger: Study

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orging on junk food thrice a week may lower immunity in kids, raising their risk of asthma and eczema, according to an international study. Scientists fear the high saturated fat levels may weaken children’s immune system. A research project involving more than 50 countries found that teenagers who ate food such as burgers three times a week or more were 39% more likely to get severe asthma. Younger kids were 27% more at risk, The Sun reported. Both were also more prone to the eye condition rhinoconjunctivitis. However, three weekly portions of fruit and vegetables may cut the risk by 14% in the younger group and 11% among the teens. Researchers from New Zealand’s Auckland University looked at the diets of 181,000 youngsters aged six to seven and 319,000 aged 13-14.

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antioxidants shield us against many types of cancer.” Commenting on Indian eating habits, she said “Indians are fond of ghee, but people who are aware of its harmful side effects are drifting from it and using olive oils. Olive oil these days is very much accepted in Indian kitchens also.” Explaining the properties of olive oil, Chef Angelo Franchini, a professional chef with over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, said “Flavours of olive oils depend on which oil you are using and how you are using it. It may create fruity or sometimes bitter or pungent flavours as well”.

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ome doctors have hoped that encouraging people to eat greater volumes of fruits and veggies, which are less “energy-dense” than burgers and pizza, might help them feel full for longer and prevent overeating and weight gain. But a new study suggests loading up on more carrots, broccoli and oranges every day won’t ward off hunger over the long run. And having fruit in beverage form simply added calories to the day’s tally. Eating apples and grapes before lunch helped people feel fuller and eat slightly less than when they drank an equivalent amount of fruit juice as an appetizer. However, putting volunteers on a fruit- and vegetableheavy diet for months made no longterm difference in their assessments of their own hunger and fullness, researchers found. The findings follow results from the same trial showing 34 participants — some overweight or obese, some a healthy weight — gained between 3.5 and 5 pounds when they were given eight weeks of fruit juice to incorporate into their diet. Heavier participants, in particular, also gained weight when they received extra fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Govt removes ban on agri-export

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he government approved the export of processed and/ or value added agricultural products even in the event of restriction/ ban on export of basic farm produce. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Commerce for allowing the export of processed and/ or value added agricultural products even in the event of restriction/ban on export of basic farm produce. The various products to be allowed are; Wheat of meslin flour, Cereal flours other than of wheat or meslin (maize, oats etc.), Cereal groats, meal pellets, Cereal grains otherwise worked except rice of heading No.1106; germ of cereals, whole, rolled, flaked or ground, Other cereals item, Milk products including casein & casein products etc, Butter and other fats derivatives from milk, dairy spread etc., Cheese and curd, Value added products of onion and Peanut butter. Generally such restrictions/ bans are made applicable across the products, whether processed or raw material, it said. The exports of processed and/or value added products constitute a very miniscule portion of the overall exports and hence their continuation would not affect the availability in the domestic market owing to very marginal processing capacity in the country. Always open policy of this sector will not only help reduce wastage of perishable products but also encourage value addition, it added.

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Assam gets award for pulses

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ssam has bagged Commendation Award under Krishi Karman Award 2011-12 in recognition of the increase in production and productivity of pulses recorded by the State in 2011-12. Congratulating the State's Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka by a letter, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Sharad Pawar stated that this award has been achieved by the State for the efforts of the Minister and the officials of the Agriculture Department in supporting farmers with technologies and services that has enabled the State to achieve this milestone. The Union Minister also informed that the President of India will present the Commendation Awards on January 15, 2013 in New Delhi.

The Krishi Karman Awards were instituted in 2010-11 to acknowledge the best performing States in production of rice, wheat, coarse cereals, pulses and total foodgrains. Deka congratulated the farmers of the State for to their tireless efforts and relentless services.

India should adopt open policy for grain export: IFPRI

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ndia should adopt an 'open' policy for food grains exports so that small farmers are benefited from prevailing higher global food prices, Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on Friday said. India must also reduce rising food subsidy by 'better' targeting of Public Distribution System, Fan observed. “At present the PDS is not well targeted which is leading to pilferage of food grains. By reducing food subsidy, more financial resources could be allocated for research and development in agriculture,” Fan said. “India being the biggest the rice exporter must have an open export policy for increasing farm income realization,” Fan commented. India has emerged as the world's biggest rice exporter in 2012 surpassing Thailand with shipment of around 10 million tonnes after a four year old ban on rice exports were lifted in 2011. He said China may increase the volume of rice import from India in coming years because of rise in cost of farm production. China's total rice import was 2-3 million tonnes from Vietnam and India last year. "It is just a beginning and China's rice

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import from India could enhance in the coming years with cost of labour, water and land increasing. Also, it is cheaper to import foodgrains from India instead of providing subsidies to farmers," Fan, the head of the key global think tank observed. India has a huge food grain stocks – mostly rice and wheat, due to bumper production last year. The rice and wheat output was reported at record 104.32 million tonnes and 93.90 million tonnes, respectively. Due to US drought, the global food prices are expected to higher and volatile during the year, He said due to uncertainty in supplies of wheat, corn and other crop because of drought in many parts of the world is expected to keep supplies situation 'volatile'. “We need stability in higher food prices as because of lack market access small farmers have not been able to take advantage of the prices,” Fan said while predicting that global food prices during the year will be 'high and volatile'. On level of poverty in Asian countries like India and China, Fan observed, "The region as a whole is not on track in meeting the millennium development goal (MDG) of cutting the rate of undernourishment by half between 1990 and 2015."


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Seafood exports come down due to bad economy

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eafood exporters will have to expand their markets and export value added, processed products rather than commodities, according to Union Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao. Seafood exports in current fiscal have dropped about 7 per cent as of now compared with last year when exports touched Rs 16,597 crore for the full year. Shrimps account for nearly half the exports. The prevailing global economic scenario, Euro zone crisis and the slowdown in the US are the reasons for the drop. Also, increased competition from Vietnam and the Philippines has hit realisations. New Markets Indian exporters will have to look at new markets such as Africa and China,

focus on value added, processed products exports and exploit the strengthening trade ties with Japan and South Korea to grow. India hopes to double exports in the next two years, Rao said. A team led by Leena Nair, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority, will be in the US on January 14 to represent India’s case against the possible countervailing duty that the US is contemplating on shrimp exports from India. India does not subsidise shrimp production, he said. Nair said exports are down in dollar terms but the initial

G.C. Pati, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries; S.R. Rao, Commerce Secretary; and Leena Nair, Chairperson, MPEDA, at the commissioning of the 2nd phase of the Aquatic Quarantine facility at Neelankarai, Chennai

numbers indicate a quantitative growth. Quarantine Facility Launched The officials were addressing media persons at the inauguration of expanded aquatic quarantine facility in Chennai and to launch further stages of expansion. G.C. Pati, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Government of India, said the facility is to hold imported broodstocks of Pacific White Shrimp, ‘Litopenaeus vannamei’, which is the dominant species under culture in shrimp farms. Over 1.30 lakh tonnes of this exotic species is being produced in India for exports. The other major variety is the Black Tiger Shrimp ‘Penaeus monodon’, which accounts for about 80,000 tonnes. The parent stock for the exotic species is imported and has to be quarantined before release to hatcheries. The capacity at the quarantine facility in Neelangarai to the south of Chennai has been expanded to hold about 83,000 broodstock against 47,000 previously. Over the next one year the capacity will go to 2.37 lakh broodstock. This will underpin the growth of the aquaculture industry.

China shuts poultry farms over use of excessive antibiotics

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hina’s agriculture authority today shut down poultry farms in an east province where the chickens were reported to have been given excessive amounts of antibiotics. Last week, Chinese media reported that some poultry farmers in Shandong Province had given their chickens excessive amounts of antibiotics, including amantadine and ribavirin, to help them survive in overcrowded chicken farms, triggering nationwide concern about food safety. Bi Meijia, the chief economic engineer as well as the spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, said relevant poultry raisers and processors have been shut down and are under close investigation. The ministry attaches great importance to the case. The ministry has dispatched a group of experts to Shandong and ordered local authorities to properly handle the case, he said, adding results will be released to the media in time. “In the following steps, we will enhance supervision over the entire poultry raising industry, raise the quality of the industry and notably scale up the crackdown on those who feed animals excessive amounts of antibiotics and veterinary drugs,” the state-run Xinhua quoted him as saying. Those found violating laws and standards will be punished, he added. China has been experiencing a spate of food and drug safety scandals starting with tainted milk powder, fake cooking oil and toxic capsules which have dented the confidence of public over government’s ability to enforce food safety.

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India to achieve 133 million tonnes mark in milk production

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ndia, the largest producer of milk in the world, is set to produce over 133 million tonnes of milk this year amidst a steady rise in the population of live stock. India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world with estimated milk production of 127.9 million tones in 2011-12. This is likely to reach 133.7 million tonnes this year. Per capita availability of milk at national level has increased from 260 gram per day in 2007-08 to 290 gram per day in 2011-12. In 1986-87 – 25 years back – India produced just 46.7 million tones of milk despite having the largest number of livestock. Production of various animal products in the country has shown a steady increase over the years. Not only milk but also meat and eggs have seen significant rise in production, leading to better availability of these highly nutritious foods, government data show. Animals are important for the economy from employment and income-security points of view as well. In India, farmers of marginal, small and semi-medium operational holdings (area less than 4 ha) own 87.7 per cent of the livestock. It has been found that small and marginal farmers with livestock are better able to withstand the impact of drought.

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South Korea’s dairy sales in China double up

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inggrae Co., a South Korean dairy maker, will likely see sales of its dairy products nearly double in China this year amid Chinese consumers' rising demand for quality processed milk, company officials said. Binggrae is expected to sell milk products worth some 23 billion won (US$21.8 million) in 2013, up 90 percent from last year's estimated 12 billion won, according to them. The company saw its hallmark banana-flavored milk products spike tenfold last year from a year earlier thanks

to increased demand in the world's most populous market. The robust growth was largely thanks to Chinese consumers' preference for imported dairy products in the wake of scandals there involving tainted local milk products. Sales in China were also boosted by the product's increasing presence in China's convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, Lawson and FamilyMart. Binggrae's Chinese advertisements, which feature Korean TV star Lee Minho, who is also popular in China, also lifted sales. The South Korean firm is also known in China for its Melona ice cream bars, which are available there in a wide range of fruit flavors. The company said it expects to see solid growth in exports to China as a growing number of Chinese consumers have a positive perception of Korean products.

No service tax on transportation of milk

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he Finance Ministry has clarified that transportation of milk by rail or a vessel will not attract service tax. This clarification has come in the wake of queries received from the Railways as to whether the service of transportation of milk is covered by an exemption notification issued in June 2012. The expression ‘foodstuff’ specified in the exemption notification would

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cover ‘milk’ and hence no service tax will be applicable on transportation of milk by rail/vessel, the CBEC has said. The CBEC notification — called mega exemption notification – issued in June 2012 specifically provides service tax exemption on transportation by rail/ vessel of foodstuffs including flour, tea, coffee, jaggery, sugar, milk products, salt and edible oil, excluding alcoholic beverages.


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Power cuts, dearer fodder hit small dairies in AP

he cloned buffalo Garima II gave birth to a calf at the Karnal-based National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI). The calf, named Mahima, was born through ‘hand-guided cloning technique’.It weighs 32 kg and is reported to be normal and healthy. The newborn “Mahima” is keeping good health and started suckling of milk within 30 minutes of birth, said A.K. Srivastava, Director, National Dairy

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W units to work, they should deploy generators. If they do, it will only increase the cost of production further. To reach consumers on time, milking operations are generally carried out around 3-4 am in the morning and again 12 hours later. The option of manual labour is expensive. If labour costs were Rs 800 a month six years ago, it is a minimum of Rs 8,500 now, he said. Bala Reddy, however, said this was not a new problem. “But we face this in the summer. It is only December now and we are saddled with this issue,” he adds. An extra cost of Rs 2,000 a month has to be borne on diesel alone by a small farmer. Similarly, with farmers not getting the 7-hour power supply, production of green fodder has been effected. Dry fodder in markets cost Rs 6-7 a kg, which drastically increases the fodder costs for cattle, he said. The Progressive Dairy Farmers Association has made a representation to treat dairy on par with agriculture to get some benefits.

World’s first cloned buffalo delivers calf in Karnal

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Dairies to turn powder into milk due to shrinking supply

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hile the big dairies are grappling with a surplus situation in Andhra Pradesh, small dairy units that cater to a smaller section of consumers and to bigger dairies, are facing different but equally difficult challenges. They are facing a tough situation as cost of production has shot up significantly due to severe power cuts, particularly in the morning times, increase in prices of cattle and scarcity of fodder. A few hundred milking, cooling and processing units in and around Hyderabad are severely impacted with these multiple problems. The official power cut at mandal headquarters is put at six hours a day. In villages, power is being supplied only three hours in day time. Most of the power cuts are happening in the morning when the dairies go for milking machines. The recent Nilam cyclone had wiped out 1.90 lakh tonnes of fodder, creating severe shortage of animal feed. “Most of these dairies are located outside of the State Capital and other urban centres. They are connected to the rural feeders,” Bhasker Reddy, President of Indian Dairy Association (Andhra Pradesh Chapter), told Business Line. It is small dairy farmers who are impacted by this most. Many of the milking machines, priced Rs 75,000-2 lakh, are idle due to the power shutdown, Bala Reddy, who represents the Dairy Farmers’ Association, said. The farmers are in a dicey situation. If they want the machines and processing

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Research Institute. “It is a big success and a proud moment for India. It is the first calf born from a cloned buffalo in the world,” he said. It is a future technique and it has opened many doors for the scientists in the field of dairy research, said Srivastava.Garima II, born on August 22, 2010 attained maturity in 19 months compared to her contemporaries that normally take 28 months.

ith the supply of fresh liquid milk dwindling in summer, dairies sitting on huge stocks of milk powder left over from last year are set to produce milk from skimmed milk powder (SMP). It is a general trend that half of the milk produced from March onwards is reconstituted from SMP with the addition of butter oil. According to industry estimates, the SMP stock in the country is between 90,000 tonne and 1.10 lakh tonne. Mother Dairy and state cooperative federations of Gujarat and Karnataka were holding close to 70-80% of SMP stocks from 2011 and 2012. SMP prices are in the range 150170 a kg now compared to 180-190 a kg in the corresponding period of 2012. This is prompting dairy majors to cater products made out of SMP. From a kg of SMP, 10 litre milk can be reconstituted. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) MD RS Sodhi said that Amul markets only fresh liquid milk unlike competitors. But private dairies have started giving discounts and additional margins to retailers to increase their share in the competitive market, which is dominated by National Dairy Development Board's Mother Dairy and Amul. "Unlike milk co-operatives which are not planning to lower the prices even after making huge profits, we will be passing the benefit to our consumers," said Kuldeep Saluja, MD, Sterling Agro, a milk powder manufacturer and exporter, who has just launched his liquid milk brand in the Delhi NCR region. Selling under the Nova brand, the company is giving 10% free milk across the range of full cream, toned and doubled-toned milk pouches. Some players are giving half a litre milk free to retailers on the sale of every milk crate of 12 litre.

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Date of Publishing 24-25 Every Month Date of Posting 1-2 Every Month

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Agri Business & Food Industry- February 2013  
Agri Business & Food Industry- February 2013  

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