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March 20, 2008

India to host first global agro-industries conference in April

India will host the first global conference on agro-industries, to be held in New Delhi from 8-11 April 2008. The Global Agro-Industries Forum (GAIF) 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 UN agencies will discuss the potential of agro-industries and the challenges they are facing. The conference is jointly organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in close collaboration with the government of India.

Rapid globalization, market liberalization, and urbanization have created new opportunities for countries to trade agricultural and food products; however, they have also created challenges and increased risks. Countries with inefficient agro-industries are likely to be left behind those with modern and efficient agro-industries. While high-income countries add, on average, US$180 of value by processing one tonne of agricultural products, developing countries generate only US$40 of value per tonne.

Increasing the market opportunities particularly for small-scale 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 agro-industries.

The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh will officially inaugurate the Forum, together with Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO and Lennart Bage, President of IFAD on April 9, 2008.

GAIF08

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