HYDERABAD (Commodity Online): The first ever Africa-India Economic Mission on Agro-Industry to Hyderabad aims to foster partnerships between Africa and India in agricultural research, soil and water conservation and management, biofuels, fresh produce management, knowledge parks, seed value chain and equipment.

The Brussels-based international organization EMRC (earlier known as European Marketing Research Center), in partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will have its first agricultural economic mission to Hyderabad, India, from 28 February to 5 March.

The mission, comprising 35 delegates from different regions of Africa, is interested in India's high-end agricultural technology and will visit ICRISAT on 2 March. It also hopes to establish the groundwork for a long and fruitful collaboration with India, leading to future missions and sustainable collaboration.

EMRC's first Africa-India Economic Mission aims to create sustainable partnerships for the enhancement of Africa's agro-industrial sector by fostering partnerships and sharing innovative ideas and methodologies.

Welcoming the initiative, ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar says, This visit, facilitated by EMRC, enhancing Africa-India business partnership, is crucial in many ways. We are happy to be a key facilitator in catalyzing the South-South relationship and wish it grows from strength to strength, utilizing science and technology as a platform to enhance business partnerships.

Expressing hope that the mission will promote technology to enhance livelihood opportunities of smallholder farmers, Dr Dar continued, We have to keep in mind the interests of the smallholder farmer, and this technology based partnership should benefit the poorest of the poor.

The program for the mission includes field visits to various sites, discussions with the scientists of ICRISAT as well as numerous heads of companies and key agribusiness decision-makers. Apart from their visit to ICRISAT and its Agri-Science Park at Patancheru, the mission will also take a close look at the Kothapally watershed project on the same day.

Apart from this, there will be personalized back-to-back, one-on-one business meetings - between the African mission members and Indian entrepreneurs, private seed and biotech investors, Food Processing and Agricultural Field Equipment suppliers from India, all of whom are interested in agricultural business collaboration and investment in Africa.