Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh has urged the corporate houses engaged in agriculture to invest money and manpower in Punjab.
Speaking at a function organised by Bharti Del Monte India Pvt Ltd at Farm Fresh today,the Chief Secretary said,I will request the Bharti Group to also involve the Punjab Farmers Commission,State Department of Agriculture,Punjab Agricultural University and farmers in their enterprise.
On the recent decision of the state government to terminate the agreement with Reliance,the CS said,Punjab is open to all corporate houses. Reliance has assured us that their plants at Ludhiana and Zirakpur will start operations within two months.
At present,we have Reliance,Bharti,Tata Khet Se and Godrej working here. We only demand transparency, he said. Singh,however,refused to comment when asked whether the Reliance deal was not transparent.
Talking about the Bharti Enterprises,he said,They have been doing well. It takes time to research,develop and then start business. After researching for best seeds and agronomic practices involving farmers,Bharti is now exporting baby corns,mint and sweat corn. They are also active in the field of rural education. But now they need to create clusters of farmers.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal,Vice-Chairman and MD of Bharti Enterprises,said,In this financial year,we have exported 200 metric tonnes of baby corns and will soon launch packed Del Monte stuff and high-quality pasta,imported from Italy.
Regarding more investment,he said,We have already invested Rs 50 crore in this enterprise here. Going by our investment,we should be processing at least 200 metric tonnes of processed food at our plants. But we do not have relevant retail support. The state government should encourage the retail sector,which will increase demand of these products and give a boost to farmers.