Sustainable agriculture - India

Sustainable agriculture

Finding solutions together

India is an agricultural powerhouse. It is the largest producer of dairy and spices and second in production of cotton, potato, grain, fish, vegetables and fruits. The collaboration between the Netherlands and India can be taken to a much higher level in the years to come.

Public and private cooperation between the Netherlands and India already enhances productivity and sustainability of Indian agriculture. The collaboration between the Netherlands and India can be taken to a much higher level in the years to come.

Next to being a major producer and exporter of agricultural products, the Netherlands has a great deal of expertise to offer when it comes to agricultural technologies. Greenhouses, storage facilities and starting materials for many crops can contribute to tremendous developments in India.

Climate Smart Agriculture

Image: ©Caption text here
In the so-called Dutch Integrated Approach, the private sector, the government and research institutes work together to find innovative solutions to make optimal use of the limited available resources. The integrated approach is reflected in the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the Agriculture department specifically focuses on Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), Clean Water (SDG 6), Economic Growth and Employment (SDG 8), Sustainable Production and Consumption (SDG 12) and Climate Change (SSDG 13).

Climate Smart Agriculture is key in achieving the goals: making agriculture and food chains more resilient to a changing climate, while enhancing economic growth and sustainable production & consumption patterns. Health and (clean) Water use are central to activities relating to Climate Smart Agriculture as well.

An example of multi-stakeholder commitment to a sustainable agricultural future for India is the Biomass India Initiative, an initiative that transforms a negative climate impact into valorization of climate positive products. Other activities include the establishment of Centers of Excellence (see below) and facilitating matchmaking for sustainability at the many fairs, exhibitions and trade missions.

Centers of Excellence

Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
The Netherlands and India formalized their cooperation under a joint action plan. The action plan is sanctioned under the Joint Agricultural Working Group (JAWG), in which both countries discuss further deepening of the cooperation in agriculture in their joint effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The establishment of Centers of Excellence (CoE’s) is an important component of the cooperation. With these centers the Netherlands provides for knowledge and technologies by setting up co-operation projects that showcase and transfer latest technologies and knowledge to farmers in their respective states, supported by the Dutch non-profit organization PUM.

In order to make these technologies work for farmers, training projects are a fundamental part of the centers. The centers have differing scopes, from already established centers on vegetables and protected cultivation to planned centers on dairy and poultry. Prime Ministers Nahendra Modi and Mark Rutte agreed to demonstrate ambition and intensify the commitment towards creating more CoE’s.

For more information, see this website (in Dutch).