Add value to farm products to survive
Add value to your agricultural produce if you want to survive in the globalised market. Countries with inefficient agro-industries are likely to be left behind those with modern and efficient agroindustries. While high-income countries add, on an average, $180 of value by processing one tonne of agricultural products, developing countries generate only $40 of value per tonne. This is the starting theme of a global conference to be held in India in April. India will host the first global conference on agro-industries, to be held in New Delhi from April 8 to April 11. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the forum along with director-general of UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jacques Diouf, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) director-general, Kandeh K. Yumkella and Inter national Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), president, Lennart Bage on April 9. The conference is jointly organised by the FAO, the UNIDO and the IFAD, in close collaboration with the government of India. The Global Agro-Industries Forum will promote the importance of agro-industries for economic development and poverty reduction. Around 500 senior representatives from the agro-industry, governments, technical and financing institutions, civil society and United Nations agencies will discuss the potential of agro-industries and the challenges they are facing. Increasing the market opportunities, particularly for smallscale 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 Forum will also encourage dialogue between the private and public sector in order to foster partnerships for developing competitive agroindustries. 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.