The Punjab government on Monday inked a joint statement on agriculture cooperation with Canada's Alberta province to work together in the agriculture sector, including agricultural research, animal husbandry and agri-food ventures.
State cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and minister for human services, Alberta, Manmeet Singh Bhullar signed the joint statement in the presence of Alison Redford, premier of the province of Alberta.
Under the pact, Punjab and Alberta will work together to identify areas of common interest and explore opportunities for scheduling joint-exchange programmes for scientists to share their expertise.
"Both Punjab and Alberta can prosper by sharing innovative agriculture and food-processing technologies and experience," Majithia said.
Alberta has a reputation for high-quality food with successful programmes and systems in place, Majithia said.
These systems could help in increasing productivity, reduce spoilage and conserve precious non-renewable resources while reducing the impact on environment, he added.
"Opportunities exist in several key areas, including infrastructure, logistics and transportation. Alberta can assist by facilitating industry involvement to share expertise in these key areas for mutually beneficial trade," said Majithia.
Redford said, "Their delegation is on a trade mission to India from January 11 to 17.
The week-long mission includes a two-day visit to Amritsar (January 13-14).
"Our trade mission to India is an important occasion to build on Alberta's strong relationship with one of the world's fastest-growing economies", said she.
The signing of a Joint statement on agriculture with Punjab today is a concrete step towards increasing trade and cooperation opportunities to the mutual benefit of Alberta and Punjab," said Premier Redford.
"The purpose of the visit of our delegation is to explore all possible avenues that can foster closer and stronger relationship between Punjab and Alberta," said Bhullar. He said Alberta was interested in developing strategic, reliable and trade-friendly relationships and was actively seeking new growing markets for agri-food industry.
Naresh Bhardwaj, assistant minister, Alberta; Peter Sandhu, Alberta MLA; Inderbir Singh Bolaria, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab; and KS Pannu, secretary, agriculture, Punjab, were also present on the occasion.