Canada can play a vital role in the economy of Punjab as a market for processed food products.
Canadian minister of agriculture Lyle Eldon Stewart emphasised the need for joint initiatives in the area of food processing technology, piggery, dairy genetics and canola farming to give a big impetus to agricultural economy of Punjab besides encouraging farmers on the sound parameters of agricultural diversification.
Stewart, who also conducted the session, was speaking at the fifth session on the third day of the Progressive Punjab Agricultural Summit.
Experts said Punjab could follow canola cultivation in the state in a big way on the pattern of Canada.
Focusing on food processing technology, Robin Young, India project manager, Manitoba Food Development Centre, said commercialisation of conventional and functional food products was the only answer to the economic crisis being faced by the farm sector of Punjab.
Emphasising on collaborative efforts of agro-scientists, farmers, food processors and food scientists, she focused on targeting viable commercial processes.
She said experts from Canada could play a vital role in agriculture diversification in Punjab.
"We can provide machinery, technical knowhow and help Punjab set up agro industry and cold chain at a time when Punjab is looking for a change in the agriculture pattern of wheat and paddy," she added.
Providing a viable alternative on pig rearing or pig farming, Polar Genetics, Canada, president Alfred Wahl said that in a protein-deficient country like India, swine farming should be given incentive as it would provide higher income for farm families. He spoke on the role of genetics in improving pig production.
Canada-based company SaskCanola chairman Frank Groeneweg said that in a health-conscious society with focus on healthy dietary fats, canola was becoming popular all over the world. He said canola was fast emerging as an excellent livestock feed that was increasing dairy production.
Speaking on dairy genetics, Amar Dhumal, general manager of Samex-Provet Genetics, said semen export was emerging as the new growth area in the farming economy.