Australian Trade Commission partners with YES Bank on agri-business, food expertise

New Delhi, Oct.23 (ANI): The Australian Trade Commission, the Australian Government's trade, investment and education promotion agency, and YES BANK today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to apply Australian experience to raise the productivity and exports of India's food and agricultural sector and in doing so address food security concerns.

The MoU was signed by Nicola Watkinson, Minister Commercial and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner - South Asia, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), and Nitin Puri, President and Country Head, Food and Agribusiness Strategic Advisory and Research, YES BANK, in New Delhi.

Austrade in association with YES BANK will work with India's food processing and agricultural sectors in the following areas:

.Share experiences from Australia which has similar climatic conditions and logistic challenges and has met these challenges to now export A$ 30.5 billion value of food each year

.Introduce Australian expertise and technologies to increase the productivity of key agricultural sectors like grains, vegetables and dairy.

.Explore collaborations and joint ventures in areas of food processing to add value to Indian agricultural produce.

.Exchange information on new consumer trends around the world that can offer new export opportunities for Indian and Australian agricultural companies.

Austrade and YES BANK will jointly organise workshops across India to create awareness about Australian capabilities in the food and agribusiness sectors and exchange information with Indian businesses looking at international expansion opportunities.

Austrade will also assist Australian companies in their expansion in India through identification of joint venture partners and investment opportunities in India.

Australian agri-business companies have been actively working with the Indian agribusiness sector offering Australian technology and expertise. Examples of some successful Australian involvement in the Indian agribusiness sector includes:

Technico Pty Limited : Australian agri-biotechnology company specializing in rapid seed potato production. Technico was acquired by the ITC Group to provide strategic sourcing support to ITC's Salty Snacks business to secure long-term access to high quality chip grade potato seeds.

Happy Seeder Technology : An Australian initiative led by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in collaboration with the Punjab Agriculture University to develop a cost-effective, tyred, no-till planter for small-acreage farmers, that can sow through straw load - including heavy rice stubble. The equipment is now manufactured in India.

Heat and Control: Heat and Control is an Australian company involved in the manufacture food processing and packaging equipment systems. Heat and Control is the major supplier of snack / food processing systems to all processed foods companies in India.

Silo Bags: Australian company Silo Bags provides grain management solutions for private companies and government agencies in India. Silo Bags' equipment is used to convert a grain facility from manual bag handling to bulk management resulting in optimal preservation of grains.

Speaking about the MoU, Watkinson said: "We are glad to enter into this collaborative engagement with YES BANK, to leverage on our respective organisational strengths and contribute to developing closer relationships between the agri-food value chains of Australia and India. Australia has world class standards in agriculture production and processing systems, supported by a dynamic and robust research and development capability, which has enabled it to adapt to the challenges of climate change and maintain its production standards".

"We recognise India's push to achieve food and nutrition security for its growing population, in the face of resource constraints and depletion. Australia is an idea partner to work with India as Australia faces similar challenges," said Watkinson.

"We find a natural partner in YES BANK, with which we share the line of thought - achieve 'holistic development of the Food and Agribusiness sector' in India", she added.

Rana Kapoor, Managing Director and CEO, YES BANK, said, "This is a significant development that will boost YES BANK's operations in the India-Australia corridor for trade and investments that has undergone significant and qualitative shifts in recent years, propelled through strategic partnerships between the two countries."

He added: "This alliance with the Australian Trade Commission furthers our commitment towards this business corridor. Through our knowledge banking initiatives and advisory services, we look forward to exploring further opportunities for cross-border trade and investment. I am confident that this partnership will enable us to provide enhanced banking support and economic and business intelligence to Australian and Indian corporations seeking business opportunities in either of the countries". (ANI)

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