AMCHAM’s Agriculture & Food Processing Committee organized a policy roundtable on ‘Making India the Global Food Hub’ on November 2nd at the Taj Palace, New Delhi. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed speakers and participants. She spoke about the role AMCHAM member companies were playing in the growth of the agriculture and food sector and their commitment to bring the best technology solutions while providing gainful employment. The roundtable started with a panel discussion on ‘Unleashing India’s Potential: Role of Regulatory Framework in Agriculture & Food Sector’ with panelists Mr. Clay M. Hamilton, Minister Counselor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Dr. Amit Sharma, Director, FSSAI, Dr. A.R. Rao, ADG (PIM), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India and Mr. V.K. Madhavan, Chief Executive, WaterAid India. The panel was moderated by Mr. Dhritiman Biswas, Director, Government Relations – South Asia, Cargill. The panel discussed pertinent topics around India’s potential for being a food basket of the world, strategic partnership between U.S. and India, food and nutrition security, current state of the food sector, food safety, water conservation and its impact on agriculture, climate change, sustainable agriculture and regulatory hurdles, amongst others. Panelists spoke about the opportunities available for mutual collaboration in the field of science and technology, R&D, information exchange and sustainable climate solutions. The panelists agreed that its time for India and the U.S. to collaborate to promote win-win agriculture that could address global food challenges. Mr. Raju Kapoor, Co-Chairman – Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, AMCHAM and Director – Public & Industry Affairs, FMC India Pvt. Ltd. gave concluding remarks.
This panel session was followed by a roundtable with Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India (Rank of Union Minister of State). Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed Prof. Chand and apprised him about the capability deck on sustainable initiatives prepared by AMCHAM’s Agriculture & Food Processing Committee. Mr. Raju Kapoor, Co-Chairman – Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, AMCHAM and Director – Public & Industry Affairs, FMC India Pvt. Ltd. set the context for the roundtable while giving a sector overview. Mr. Sunjay Vuppuluri, National Head – Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research (FASAR), YES Bank, gave a comprehensive presentation on ‘Key Imperatives of Making India the Global Food Hub.’ The presentation covered the progress and potential of Indian agriculture, growth drivers and challenges, key imperatives for leveraging potential, role that private sector is playing to contribute to sustainable growth and policy interventions for boosting private sector contribution. It also featured select case studies on sustainability initiatives under taken by U.S. companies. Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India (Rank of Union Minister of State), in his keynote address, highlighted the growth and achievements of the Indian agriculture sector. He shared statistics around the growth of the sector, in particular the rising share in global trade. He hailed the resilience shown by the sector during the COVID era. While speaking about the low productivity levels, he asked industry to view this as an opportunity for growth. Prof. Chand also spoke about reforms at the center and state level and that the future of investments lies in the agriculture sector. Other items of discussion included the rise of consumer preferences towards bio-waste products, farm as a factory, challenges in scale of farm operations, AgTech, IPR issues, precision farming, co-existence of traditional and modern agriculture, etc. It was followed by an open house with members. The concluding remarks were given by Ms. Dipanwita Chakraborty, Director, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Cargill. The event was supported by Cargill and YES Bank was the knowledge partner.
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