LUDHIANA: The Head of India Operations of French Company 'Axereal', Sudhanshu Jangir visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today to explore the possibilities of collaboration in mutually beneficial areas.
He interacted with the senior officers and heads of the departments of the PAU including Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, Dr H.S. Randhawa, Director of Seeds, Dr H.S. Sehgal, Additional Director of Communication and Dr Allah Rang, Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics.
Besides, Dr Jarnail Singh, Professor of Processing and Food Engineering, Dr Amarjit Kaur, Senior Milling Technologist (Food Science and Technology Department), and Dr Ramandeep Jassal, Deputy Director (Public Relations), also participated in the meet.
Welcoming the visiting delegate and the members of PAU fraternity, Dr Sehgal highlighted that PAU is the premiere agricultural institution of the country which is celebrating its 50 years of establishment this year. He apprised the visiting member of the organizational set-up of the University with thrust on major components including research, teaching and technology transfer.
In his remarks, Dr Gosal said that the two sides could enter into cooperative venture in the evolvement and promotion of crop varieties of barley, desi cotton, groundnut, pop corn and summer moong.
Mr Jangir divulged that the Axereal Group is an agro-industrial cooperative group that offers farm services to the farmers. He elaborated, “We focus on grain sector, processing sector and international trade. In 11 countries, we are involved into contract farming. We process sugar, corn, animal feed, malt, etc. During last year, we produced 6 lakh tonnes of wheat flour.”
He highlighted that the Axereal Group has 10 malting plants in Europe and more than a million tonnes of malt is sold across the world including all continents i.e. Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He pointed out that there is a lack of good varieties of barley in France.
About his visit to PAU, he said that the Axereal Group has decided to set-up an agro-processing unit in France, for which they would like to tie-up with the University for the development of barley varieties and for strengthening the manpower through the student –exchange programme. The students of the PAU will be equipped with the latest agricultural knowledge through this partnership, he stated.
The PAU experts briefed the delegate about the different barley varieties and told that the crop is mainly grown in Bathinda district of Punjab. They apprised him with the marketing of the farm produce, storage facilities and methods, and characteristics and processing of barley. The experts said that the PAU comprises a good team of barley breeders who can be of immense help in the evolvement of barley varieties. They suggested that the two sides could also collaborate in terms of breeding, processing and seed production of various crops.