USSEC Participates in India Fork to Fork 2013
- General News
USSEC participated in the international conference, India Fork to Fork 2013, last November. The meeting, located in New Delhi, was organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries, an organization recognized for its involvement in exploring domestic and foreign trade, helping government to formulate policy matters on trade and industry, leading Indian trade delegations to other countries and also taking care of foreign delegations visiting India. This two-day conference was opened by India’s Minister of State of Food Processing and Agriculture and was attended and addressed by high-profile subject matter specialists, industry leaders, policy makers, and representatives from the All India Food Processors Association, among others.
Dr. Ratan Sharma of USSEC’s Soy Fortification Program, was invited to speak and serve as a panelist on behalf of soy. Dr. Sharma spoke on the “Potential and Opportunities of Soy Food Business in India” and explained the present soy food scenario in the country, soy crush, domestic opportunities and the importance of soy flour and other soy products in the government feeding and social welfare programs to improve the nutritional status of the country. Potential participants, investors and trading companies reached out to Dr. Sharma after his speech to discuss extending the marketing network of soy flour and other soy foods to maximize its accessibility throughout India.
As a panelist in the export-import session, Dr. Sharma talked about the importance and necessity of utilizing soy and soy derivatives within India rather than exporting it, highlighting the significance of soy foods in context to improve the nutritional status of the country, to overcome the issue of malnutrition and to create employment opportunities by developing soy food entrepreneurs all over the country fulfilling the soy food supply demand on a local/regional basis. Dr. Sharma advised policy makers that soy should be an integral part of India’s supplementary nutrition, school lunch program, and other programs run by the Indian government. He also reminded authorities from the Ministry of Food Processing about the formation of the long-pending Soy Processing Board, which would help to organize soy food processing and marketing in India. Finally, Dr. Sharma initiated a discussion on developing proper infrastructure in all respects of soy procurement until it reaches processors and end users, storage facilities, developing a network for dealers and traders to guarantee a sustainable supply and distribution channel / chain to ensure an uninterrupted supply to the utilization venues. Such an infrastructure would facilitate the utilization of soy foods, but it would require very structured policy planning.
Other panel discussions touched on the issues of agriculture; food processing; livestock resources; supply chain challenges; policy environment, new food laws; and food and nutritional security. Several poultry feed manufacturers raised concerns regarding the scarcity of soymeal last year and requested the government to look into this matter to ensure its availability for at least this current year either by strengthening domestic availability or through export.
USSEC India’s Human Utilization program conducts many activities and holds meetings with various stakeholders to promote and facilitate the production and utilization of soy food in that country.