Holland Plans to Set Up Dairy Trading Centre of Excellence in Southern UP

May 6, 2022

According to Michiel van Erkel, Agriculture Counsellor, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Dutch government is eager to share its expertise in the dairy sector with India and will soon establish a Dairy Trading Centre of Excellence (DTCE) in southern Uttar Pradesh.

Holland is eager to establish multiple DTCEs in India, as well as Centres of Excellence (CoE) for horticulture, floriculture, and food processing. According to the Dutch agriculture counsellor, it would assist Indian floriculturists in packing and shipping their products to various parts of the country as well as abroad.

“We are in talks with the Indian government.” “It has indicated that it would prefer to establish DTCE in southern Uttar Pradesh because there is already a genetic centre there,” said van Erkel, who was in Chennai with Dutch Ambassador to India Marten van den Berg for talks with the Tamil Nadu government.

The DTCE will assist dairy farmers in adopting Dutch technology in order to improve milk quality and quantity. “Farmers will learn about dairy farm management, including marketing insights, and will receive training.” They will be taught about dairy farming. “They can also obtain information on the genetic materials,” he added.

The DTCE will also have a small-scale cheese plant, similar to the ones set up by Dutch dairy farms next to their farm gates in Holland, and will sell these products.

The Netherlands Ambassador van den Berg discussed the possibility of establishing a similar centre of excellence for dairy training in Chennai. “India can have multiple such centres of excellence,” van Erkel said.

According to the Netherlands’ agriculture counsellor, the milk yield per animal in the Netherlands is significantly higher than in India. Furthermore, 2-3 people manage a farm with approximately 150 cows, whereas Indian dairy farmers only have 10-20 cows. “We have much larger cooperatives in Holland than in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The Dutch government has offered to assist India in the fields of horticulture, floriculture, food processing, and potato cultivation by establishing at least seven CoEs. “Of the seven, only three are operational, including one in Maharashtra’s Baramati for horticulture, one in Telangana for floriculture, and the third in Punjab for potato,” he explained.

Van Erkel stated that the establishment of the CoE was being delayed due to bureaucratic clearances. “In the Indian federal system, the States must obtain permission from the Centre, which must also allocate funds,” the agriculture commissioner explained, adding that the DTCE could be operational within a year.

Dutch venture capital firms are investing in agtech and innovation start-ups in India. According to him, these firms have invested in Ankur Capital, Omnivore, and other start-up investment funds. The Netherlands’ Wageningen University, the top university in plant and animal sciences, is assisting a Bengaluru biotech firm with its incubation, according to a Dutch official.

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