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Malvinder Mohan Singh, chairman, CII Northern Region, and Siraj Hussain, Addl Secy, Ministry of Agriculture, at the inaugural session of Agro Tech. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Source: The Tribune (www.tribuneindia.com)

Chandigarh, December 2. Punjab went virtually unrepresented during the inaugural session of Agro Tech 2012 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal cancelling his participation, ostensibly because of state mourning following the demise of former Prime Minister IK Gujral.

However, the CM attended the inaugural ceremony of the World Kabaddi Cup at Bathinda and also participated in a function at the Indian School of Business this afternoon.

Badal visite the Agro Tech exhibition in the evening and interacted with industry representatives. Malvinder Mohan Singh, CII’s Northern Region chairman, said the CII’s interface with the government was a continuous affair and that policy changes and other issues concerning industrialists would be discussed as and when needed.

Earlier, while inaugurating the agri fair, Union Agriculture Additional Secretary Siraj Hussain said it would help in inclusive development of the agriculture sector. He spoke in favour of FDI in retail, saying “If any state in India stands to benefit from FDI, it is Punjab.”

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture, and managing director, Bharti Enterprises, said the CII firmly believed that rejuvenating Indian Agriculture was possible only if the government and the private sector joined hands. “We need to work in a mission mode wherein the approach should be result-oriented, time-bound, area and crop-specific and be monitored closely,” he said. Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, CII, said: “CII Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (CII-FACE) has been set up. The centre will work towards building capacity while leveraging technology and innovation to improve productivity and the environmental footprint of agriculture. It will also focus on introducing efficiencies across the supply chain, right from the farm gate to the end consumer.”

Hari S Bhartia, chairman, Agro Tech 2012, and co-chairman and managing-director, Jubilant Life Sciences, said the CII expected 30,000 farmers to visit Agro Tech 2012.

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