KOCHI: If the Netherlands, with a population as small as that of New Delhi, could become the second largest exporter of agriculture products in the world, Kerala can easily become a global leader in the field, said Alphonsus Stoelinga, the Netherlands’ ambassador to India.
Stoelinga, who was speaking at the Global Agro Meet at Karukutty near Angamaly on Thursday, said that the country was looking to cooperate with the Kerala Government in three verticals - government-to-government collaboration, partnership between companies in the two countries and joining hands in the field of agriculture research. “In July 2013, Kerala Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan had visited our country to explore the potential areas of partnership. In November last year, a Dutch delegation visited Kerala to carry forward the relationship. Now, seven Dutch companies and agriculture mechanisation experts are participating in the Agro Meet. In the Netherlands, we not only create solutions to problems, but also invite the private sector to participate in the process. The same could be replicated in Kerala,” he said.
“India as a country has the potential to become the agriculture research powerhouse of the world,” he added.
Centre of Excellence
As part of the Indo-Dutch action plan, a Centre of Excellence for Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers will be launched in Thiruvananthapuram, at a cost of `18 crore. It will conduct training programmes and awareness sessions on poly-house cultivation.