India will host the first four-day global conference on agro-industries, to be held in Delhi from April 8, 2008. The Global Agro-Industries Forum (GAIF) will promote the importance of agro-industries for economic development and poverty reduction, a press release of GAIF said. Around 500 senior representatives from the agro-industry, governments, technical and financing institutions, civil society and UN agencies will discuss the potential of agro-industries and the challenges they are facing. The conference will be jointly organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in close collaboration with the Indian government. The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh will officially inaugurate the Forum on April 9, in the presence of The FAO director-general Jacques Diouf, UNIDO director-general Kandeh K Yumkella, IFAD president Lennart Bage. Rapid globalisation, market liberalisation, and urbanisation have created new opportunities for countries to trade agricultural and food products. However, they have also created challenges and increased risks. Countries with inefficient agro-industries are likely to be left behind those with modern and efficient agro-industries. While high-income countries add, on average, US$180 of value by processing one tonne of agricultural products, developing countries generate only $40 of value per tonne, the press release said. Increasing the market opportunities particularly for small-scale producers in rural areas, by improving their production, processing and marketing capabilities, will be one of the main issues of the conference. Delivering better products at lower prices could be beneficial for poor consumers and could also create employment opportunities. The GAIF will also encourage dialogue between the private and public sector in order to foster partnerships for developing competitive agro-industries.