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Telangana delegation attends investment meet in Dubai

Mar 31, 2015

Telangana government is attending an investment meeting in Dubai with a view to attract a broad spectrum of global investors into the newly created state. 

The event will be an opportunity to interact and engage with key decision makers from the UAE government and the investment community, as well as with other global leaders from various countries.

The Telangana government hopes to showcase at the 5th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) key competencies as well as critical measures that have been initiated, according to a statement released by the Indian Consulate in Dubai. 
This is in line with the Government of Telangana's vision to make the new state of India the most preferred investment destination in the country. 
K T Rama Rao, Minister for Panchayat Raj and Information Technology (IT) Government of Telangana will be addressing a large gathering of Government and business leaders from across sectors such as infrastructure, technology, pharmaceuticals and appraise them of opportunities in Telangana, centred around Hyderabad. 
The Telangana Government aims to develop Hyderabad into a futuristic city by promoting innovation and technology, developing new growth sectors, and through smart city planning. 
Many prominent leaders and dignitaries will take part in the three day event starting today. 
AIM is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and this is the 5th edition of the event in Dubai. Established as the new staple for foreign trade and FDI, it attracts a mix of high profile government officials, private asset owners and project promoters from all across the globe. 
The Government of Telangana aspires to reach a target of USD 17 billion of exports from the current level of USD 10 billion and create 1 million job opportunities in the ICT and Electronics Sector in the next three years. 
Source: The Economic Times

KINFRA to set up Rs. 121.92 crore Mega Food Park at Kanjikode in Kerala

Mar 31, 2015

The ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), Government of India, has approved the proposal submitted by Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) to set up a Mega Food Processing Park at Kanjikode, Palakkad. The estimated project cost is Rs 121.92 crore. The assistance sought from MoFPI is Rs 50 crore.

The Mega Food Park would be provided with basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and water. Apart from basic infrastructure, common facilities such as water treatment plant, effluent treatment plant, quality control laboratories, cold storages, warehouses, and process centres would be set up. The Primary Processing Centres would also be equipped with weighing lines, packhouses, chill rooms/cold storages, and so on. It is estimated that the park would employ about 4,550 people by way of direct employment and 12,880 people by way of indirect employment.
The ministry has given top priority to infrastructure creation for food processing industries and it has a dedicated scheme in the 12th Five Year Plan for infrastructure creation known as the ‘Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS).’ The primary objective of the MFPS is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market. It will include creation of processing infrastructure near the farm, transportation, logistics and centralised processing centres. The main feature of the scheme is a cluster-based approach. The expected outcome is increased price realisation for farmers, creation of high quality processing infrastructure, reduction in wastage, capacity building of producers and processors and creation of an efficient supply chain along with significant direct and indirect employment generation.
Under the Mega Food Park Scheme, each project is assisted with a grant-in-aid support to the extent of 50 per cent of eligible project cost, subject to a maximum amount of Rs. 50.00 crore. The MFPS envisages setting up a three-tiered structure consisting of a Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) with facilities for food processing activities involving higher-end value addition, Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) with facilities for pre-processing activities or lower-end food processing, Collection Centres (CCs) for facilitating convenient collection of raw materials from farmers. The PPCs and CCs are located near to the farms and would be spread across the region from where the main raw materials for the Mega Food Park are targeted.
In line with the prescribed guidelines of MFPS, the EOI submitted by KINFRA proposed the following three tiered components:
Central Processing Facility (CPC or Food Park)
The proposed CPC is located in Elappuly 1 and Pudussery villages of Palakkad District. KINFRA has identified 73 acres of land for this purpose. The identified land is already in possession of KINFRA.
Primary Processing Centre (PPC)
In KINFRA’s Mega Food Park project, about five Primary Processing Centres have been proposed in the districts of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Ernakulam, from where the main raw materials would be sourced.
Collection Centre (CC)
In KINFRA’s Mega Food Park project, about 15 Collection Centres have been proposed in the districts of Palakkad, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Ernakulam.
The raw material base for the Mega Food Park would extend over an area around Palakkad including the districts of Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Ernakulum. The major raw materials identified for the Mega Food Park would include coconuts, ginger, pepper, cardamom, turmeric, tamarind, jackfruit, tapioca, papaya, banana, pineapple, mango, cashew, arecanut, paddy etc.
The Mega Food Park would cater to food processing units dealing with various coconut products (like tender coconut water, coconut milk, cream, dehydrated powder etc); fruit products (like fruit beverages/concentrates, candies, jams, pickles), spice products (like whole spices, spice powders ,spice extractions, seasonings etc), starch based products, value-added products from rice, bakery products, ethnic preparations from Kerala etc.
Source: FNB News

Israeli group seeks to buy corn and wheat

Mar 31, 2015

A group of Israeli private buyers has issued international tenders to purchase up to 85,000 tonnes of corn and 45,000 tonnes of feed wheat all of optional origins, European traders said on Monday The tenders close on Wednesday, April 1, traders said. If based on European Union or Black Sea region supplies, some 35,000 tonnes of corn was sought for shipment between May 25 to June 15 and a further 50,000 tonnes between June 20 to July 10, they said.

And if based on EU or Black Sea supplies, shipment of 25,000 tonnes of feed wheat was sought between April 20 to May 10 and shipment of 20,000 tonnes between May 20 to June 10, they said. 
Shipment periods from other origins may differ, traders said. 
In the last reported corn and wheat tender from Israel on February 25, a group of private buyers purchased about 90,000 tonnes of corn and about 25,000 tonnes of feed wheat of optional origin after seeking offers for the same volume. 
Source: Business Recorder

Hybrid guava developed in state a huge draw

Mar 31, 2015

A hybrid guava variety, weighing up to one kilogram, developed and cultivated in Chhattisgarh is attracting profits for local fruit growers and suppliers with increasing demand in export market. 

Termed 'VNR Bihi', this guava is a combination of the variety grown in Thailand and India. 
Dr Narayan Chawda, who developed the fruit at his farm at village Gomchi in city outskirts, said, "Nutrient values of hybrid farming products are equivalent to organic ones. This guava has less seed and thick pulp, suitable for long distance transport and longer shelf life of 15 days. If refrigerated, it can stay good for up to 30 days." 
Chawda said staggered harvesting is possible as fruit can stay on plant for 10 to 12 days. Besides, it can grow in tropical regions round the year as it has a capacity to take maximum production, even in areas with water scarcity and high humidity. It took two to three years to develop this variety of guava fruit. He has also developed Indian hybrid variety of papaya named 'vinayak', which also has unique features like VNR Bihi. 
Chawda is now working on a big variety of custard apple. 
A recipient of state and national honours, Dr Chawda introduced a new technology in agriculture called vegetable grafting. Besides, he has also carried out research and experiments to improve soil quality near Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of tribal Bastar.
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Source: The Times of India

India buys up to 80,000 t Australian wheat for April-May shipment

Mar 31, 2015

Indian flour millers have bought between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes of Australian wheat in recent deals for April-May shipment as unseasonal rains damaged the local crop, three trade sources said on Tuesday.
They have bought three cargoes as some mills are taking coverage because of reports of rain damage," said one Singapore-based trading manager with an international trading company.
"We don't expect India to buy large volumes as they have substantially large stocks but there could be some demand for higher grade wheat."
The deals for Australian prime wheat were signed between $260 and $265 a tonne, including cost and freight.
Source: Business Line

Demand for organic food is growing in Russia

Mar 31, 2015

The embargo on importing European foodstuffs, imposed by Russia in 2014, is acting as an incentive for domestic production of organic food. Experts also see potential for foreign investment.

The embargo has deprived the Russian market of a significant portion of imported eco-products. "No less than 95 percent of organic foods was previously sourced from imports," says Denis Prasolov, CEO of Organic Corporation. Eco-fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and dried goods were sourced in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, USA and Canada. The remaining five percent came from around 100 certified Russian producers. Russia produces milk and dairy products, meat, poultry and cereals.

Niche market
The Russian market is estimated to be worth £100 million (according to US government body FAS, the Foreign Agricultural Service); the global as much as £42 billion (according to IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements).
The organic food market started to develop actively in Russia three years ago. It has since grown 20 percent. But demand still exceeds supply. The main buyers of organic foods are parents who buy such products for their children and well-off consumers aged 22 to 45 who follow healthy lifestyles. Higher prices compared with conventional foods fail to put them off, even though vegetables may be 20 percent more expensive and fish and meat as much as three or five times the cost of conventional products. Increased prices attributed to sanctions, estimated at between 30-40 percent and the increased cost of foreign certification and ancillary materials (packaging, greenhouses and seeds) imported from Europe also seem to have little impact on demand, which experts say may even increase thanks to a new group of consumers – those who used to buy conventional foreign products.
The food embargo can play into the hands of organic sellers," says Yelena Klyucharova, a research consultant with commercial real estate company CBRE. "In search of an alternative to familiar products from other countries, the buyer may well opt for eco-products," A recent survey by the Union of Organic Farming (UOF) found that around 58 percent of Russians are keen to buy eco-friendly products. Eco-market participants are expecting 10-15 percent growth in 2015, despite the crisis.
Investment opportunity
Russia has some 40 million hectares of untilled, vacant land untreated by chemical fertilizers for more than 20 years and therefore suitable for growing eco-friendly products. A tiny fraction, 0.06 percent – 126,800 ha – is used for eco farming. The availability of such land could attract foreign growers of organic food, says Tatyana Lebedeva, founder of web portal Look.Bio. "In Europe, the eco market is rapidly developing, but it lacks raw materials and suitable land," she says, adding there interest in developing the Russian organic foods market both from market participants and the public sector, for example, IFOAM. 
Those who have already ventured into the Russian organic market include two farms with official certification that have foreign backers and produce organic food for export. Lebedeva identifies them as Tiyaki Russia (which has a Turkish parent company), which grows grains, vegetables and sunflowers in the Saratov Region and J&M Company, which produces cereals and oil-bearing crops in the Krasnodar Region. HIPP, one of the world's leading manufacturers of baby food, has a factory in the Kaliningrad Region, using raw materials both from the company's own certified farms and local producers, whose products meet eco-requirements.
Opaque market
But many potential foreign investors are put off by the opacity of the market – especially, the lack of formal legislation defining eco-standards in Russia.
The State Duma - Russia's lower house of parliament - has yet to rectify the situation, although a federal law on organic agriculture is due to be passed later this year and approval is also expect for technical regulations and national standards.
The impressive amount of acreage and clear legislation could not only attract foreign investors, but allow those operating without certification to be legitimised, opening up a market potentially worth over £200 million, the UOF believes.
Source: In Rbth

IPAB allows Lahore group to contest GI tag to MP's Basmati

Mar 31, 2015

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board has allowed the appeal of Lahore-based Basmati Growers Association (BGA) to contest the award of GI tag for Basmati rice to Madhya Pradesh.

GI tag protects legal rights of reputed agricultural, manufactured and natural goods in a specific geographical territory.
GI status was granted for basmati rice cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab and J&K.
Madhya Pradesh requested for inclusion of its region into the GI tag list which was granted by the registry on December 31, 2013.
This was challenged by BGA and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) too. APEDA is a wing of the Union commerce ministry.
Earlier, while seeking GI tag for Basmati in the above mentioned states, APEDA excluded Basmati regions in MP for grant of tag.
After MP requested its name be included in the list, the assistant registrar of GI registry on December 31,2013, directed APEDA to amend its application and include MP's regions in the list of Basmati growing states.
APEDA then moved the IPAB challenging the directive. BGA also filed an appeal in IPAB against the registry's order.
More importantly, Lahore-based BGA has opposed grant of GI tag `Basmati' to India "in totality."
In May 2010, APEDA filed an application for registering the Basmati growing regions for grant of GI tag under the GI Goods (Registra tion and Protection) Act 1999.
On October 25, 2010, BGA served a notice to oppose APEDA's move.
"Any registration of Basmati as GI under Indian statutes would be in clear violation of BGA's rights as only the concerned parties in Pakistan are rightfully entitled to GI Basmati," claimed the BGA in its appeal.
Four months later, APEDA filed its counter statement. Despite providing two extensions , BGA failed to provide evidence in support of its claims within the stipulated period.
APEDA then moved an interlocutory petition seeking directions to quash the opposition petition. The GI registry on December 31, 2013, set aside BGA's petition.
BGA also appealed against the order of the registry in the IPAB. It said the rice grown on conventional lands in Punjab in Pakistan interacted with soil and climate to yield Basmati Rice in "true sense."
The rice growing regions of Pakistan were Gujarat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal etc. BGA cited the works of Punjabi poet Syed Waris Shah's masterpiece, Heer', to stress that Basmati rice was only grown in Punjab in those days. Now these areas were part of Pakistan, said BGA.
BGA sought directions to set aside the common order of the GI registry passed on December 31, 2013. In a recent hearing, a bench of chairman Justice K N Basha and technical member Sanjeev Kumar Chaswal allowed BGA's appeal and posted the matter to June 8 for further hearing.
Source: The Times of India

Pulses traders to benefit from Myanmar Commodity Exchange

Mar 31, 2015

Myanmar has launched the world’s first 23x7 multi-commodity exchange for the benefit of entire value-chain participants, including traders, importers, arbitrageurs and investors.
Myanmar International Commodity Exchange Ltd (MICEx), a Pearl Group initiative, offers trading in varied commodity contracts across segments, with initial focus on pulses and gold. Being one of the largest importers of pulses from Myanmar, India will be a natural beneficiary of MiCEx.
The launch of commodity exchange will bring transparency in trade and help assessment of pulses crop in Myanmar. So far, crop estimates in Myanmar do not have any proper certification from government agencies.
"The move will strengthen the Myanmar economy and encourage the sector as well as build links to complement non-agricultural activities. Through this, we look forward to meet the changing demand and market opportunities which can lead to greater returns," said MICEx Chairman Sein Win Hlaing.
The exchange has partnered with SLCM Ltd, the wholly subsidiary of the Indian company Sohanlal Commodity Management Pvt Ltd, which has been accredited as the preferred warehouse service provider for tur, urad and other agro commodities by the exchange.
"Like India, Myanmar too has tremendous potential in nurturing the agriculture sector as the scope to increase the output is enormous. It is logical to expand and demonstrate our expertise in a region known for the sector that has a similar scalability," said Sandeep Sabharwal, Group CEO, SLCM Ltd.
Source: Business Standard

Indian Dairy Sector to Grow by 15.6 Per Cent in Next Financial Year

Mar 31, 2015

The country's dairy sector will grow 15.6 per cent during the 2015-16 financial year, says Mumbai based rating and research firm, India Ratings & Research Pvt Limited (Ind-Ra), citing higher demand for dairy products.

Growth will be driven by increasing consumer buying power and high demand for dairy products, said the agency's report.
The report said: “We expect the dairy sector's market size to increase 15.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in FY16. Milk production is forecast to grow at 4.6 per cent y-o-y in FY16."
"The agency expects the dairy sector to remain one of the focus areas of the government to improve the economic well-being of rural population."
The agency said that dairy industry will grow to $89 billion in 2015-16 fiscal year from $48 billion recorded in fiscal year 2012-13. The milk production is expected to increase to 151 million tonnes by 2015-16 fiscal year from 138 million tonnes in 2013-14 fiscal year.
The government is striving to expand the milk production to 180-200 million tonnes by 2021-22 fiscal year to meet the growing demand and address the nutritional requirement of country.
Even though global milk and dairy product prices in 2014 have fallen, the domestic prices have been firm.
The agency expects the government to continue supporting the dairy sector, especially cooperative sector, in the form of capital expenditures and technological improvements.
"The sector will reap benefits from the federal government's increased focus on dairy development, enhanced availability of quality fodder, and promotion of bovine breeding, among other aspects of raising milk productivity," the report added. 
"The government is also working on ensuring better transportation and storage options for milk and milk products."
India, being the world's largest milk producer, is "non-existent" on the global dairy platform, added the agency. India's dairy exports have remained sluggish due to low global demand, rising cost of domestic milk production and the abolition of skimmed milk powder export incentives by the government in July 2014.
India Ratings expects gross domestic product to grow at 6.5 per cent and agriculture at 2 per cent in FY16.
Source: The Cattle Site

Vietnam backs India’s connectivity with SEA

Mar 31, 2015

Vietnam backs India’s Act East policy and comprehensive connectivity with Southeast Asia, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong told Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha) of India Sumitra Mahajan in Hanoi on March 30.

The Party leader thanked Mahajan and her delegation for contributing constructive ideas to the ongoing 132 nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Hanoi, adding that her visit would boost the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

He suggested continuing to utilise existing cooperative mechanisms, realise commitments and deepen bilateral ties.

Mahajan noted that Vietnam is a strategic partner of India in the ASEAN and the broader region and that the country plays a key role in India’s “Look East” policy, now known as the “Act East” policy.

She suggested determination and cooperative potential would further solidify the traditional friendship and coordination between the two countries.

Receiving Mahajan the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the Vietnamese government urges the Indian legislature to back stronger partnerships across economics, trade, investment, tourism, science-technology, education-training, national defence-security, people-to-people exchange, and multilateral forum cooperation.

The government supports the strengthening of ties between Vietnamese and Indian legislatures, he said.

The guest confirmed that Vietnam and India are able to work together in a variety of areas without obstacles.

The upcoming Vietnam visit by Indian Speaker of the Parliament and Defence Minister and the launch of direct flight services will mark a new milestone in the bilateral relationship, she said.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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