On 12-14 March, the Secretary of State Jacek Bogucki paid a visit to India.
Photo. Opening of the Aahar fair
Its objective was to participate in the meeting of the Polish-Indian Working Group on cooperation in agriculture, in the Aahar fair and to talk with the Indian partners on a possibility of intensifying Polish-Indian cooperation in the field of agriculture, with a particular emphasis on a possibility of extending access of Polish products to the Indian market and developing commercial cooperation.
During the meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare: Minister of State G.S. Shekhawat, Deputy Minister T. Shridhar, Deputy Minister T. Mohapatra, the Polish party had an opportunity to discuss the current state of arrangements with regard to access of Polish agri-food products to the Indian market.
At the same time, during the debate of the Working Group on cooperation in agriculture, which on the part of India was co-chaired by Deputy Minister S.K. Pattanayak, Deputy Minister J. Bogucki raised in detail the issue of agreeing on a health certificate for hatching eggs and day-old chicks, as well as for biological material of swine exported from Poland to India. He also stressed the interest of Poland in carrying out the procedures necessary for the opening of the Indian market for northern highbush blueberry fruit, facilities for the export of Polish cereals and legumes in a form of more favourable fumigation conditions as well as obtaining the conditions of export from Poland to India for, inter alia, seedlings of strawberries, raspberries, young apple trees. The Polish delegation was reassured by the India party of the will to urgently agree on health certificates for day-old chicks and hatching eggs as well as for biological material of swine. Regarding the phytosanitary demands, the Indian partners also declared the willingness to cooperate and to examine those demands.
During the talks at the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, they also discussed the possibilities of developing scientific cooperation. The Secretary of State pointed to the interest of all research institutes, supervised by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperating with the Indian partners. He stressed a possibility of sharing Polish experience, inter alia, with regard to swine breeding.
The agenda for the visit of the MARD delegation also included a meeting with the Minister of Food Processing H.K. Badal. Deputy Minister Bogucki received the information on a possibility of support from the Indian government for Polish companies interested in making investments in the agri-food processing sector in India, as well as the assurance of the Indian party’s will to facilitate contacts between Polish and Indian business (trading missions, providing business partners, creation of a contact point).
During the meeting with the President of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India FSSAI A. Bahuguna, the Polish delegation received a confirmation of meeting the standards and procedures required by Indian law by Polish processed food exported to the Indian market (only one consignment rejected recently). The Indian party warranted that there was a possibility of cooperation as regards the determination of residues of medicines and heavy metals as well as the accreditation of laboratories.
Secretary of State Jacek Bogucki stressed the interest in the further development of the export of highly processed foods; the Indian party pointed to a possibility of exporting e.g. processed soft fruit, including northern highbush blueberry fruit: juices, concentrates, pulp, frozen fruit.
During the visit there were also the meetings with the representatives of business communities, both within the framework of the MARD-organised stand promoting Polish food and of participation in the events organised by the Indian Food Importers Forum. They were an opportunity to highlight the values of Polish food and to inform about the possibilities of exporting other products to the Indian market, i.e. poultrymeat and pork.
According to the preliminary data in 2017 the export from Poland to India reached a value of EUR 10.3 million and rose nearly twice when compared to 2016. The main commodity exported during that period were apples. In view of the increasing consumer potential, the Indian market is rated in Poland as prospective for the agri-food sector companies.