France seems to be highly impressed by the potential opportunities for working with India in the area of food processing as the abundantly available raw materials in the country could be the envy of the world. Very low extent of processing domestically has probably giving ideas to developed world that investments here can be rewarding with a vast market supposed to be ready for tapping. The French experts apparently have done their home work as reflected by definite proposals put forward by them during their recent visit.
"She highlighted five areas in which the visiting French delegation and the Indian counterparts can work on. Business models for dairy and poultry industries; interface with public and private agencies on policy framework; dialogue on standards and guidelines for quality, safety and traceability; study of cycle from crops and cattle to processed food and consumer market; and links between research development institutes in the two countries are the five areas. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai said while India had the potential, France could help tap it. "We have the raw material, you have the technology. India is in the middle of two big markets - the Middle East and the Far East - and we can help French companies reach out to these markets," he said. He also called for the setting up of a joint quality control laboratory by India and France to remove hindrances on exports of Indian food products to the European market".
While it is customary for visiting delegations to say right things to please their host, how far this will transform into viable projects remains to be seen. One of the constraints could be the language as practically all scientific endeavors in India use English for communications and documentation, whereas in France English is not the popular language. This is not to say that cooperation is not feasible but there could be impediments in making use of the rich experience of that country. Making use of French cooperation to boost India's exports to EU countries can be a strategic move for which MFPI must be complimented.