With the aim to achieve the ambitious trillion-dollar economy mark by 2024, Uttar Pradesh is looking beyond the state and national boundaries — to faraway Russia.
The state government has mooted a proposal of contract farming by UP entrepreneurs in Russian Far East regions, which have abundant land but are sparsely populated, to exploit the available natural resources. The state is looking to create an agricultural value chain to benefit the farmers and entrepreneurs of UP.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recently (August 11-13) visited the Russian city of Vladivostok as part of an Indian delegation led by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and comprising chief ministers of UP, Gujarat, Goa and Haryana. After returning from Russia, he had convened a meeting of senior officials and asked them to prepare a roadmap for harnessing the natural resources and other business opportunities offered by Russian Far East in the fields of contract farming, mechanised farming, food processing and energy.
In the meeting, the Chief Minister said that Russia offered unlimited avenues for UP’s entrepreneurs for investment in agriculture, contract farming, dairy, animal husbandry and allied activities.
In his directive, Yogi Adityanath stressed that the roadmap be drafted for each of these verticals for boosting economic activities and also creating employment for UP’s youth, including farmers.
“We are looking at the prospects of entrepreneurs from UP taking up land in Russia for mechanised and contract farming. The state agencies will facilitate such activities with policy and other support,” said an official here on Saturday.
The official added that such farm related activities were also aimed at boosting the food processing industry in UP. He said the land could be either leased or procured outright.
In his media briefing earlier, Yogi Adityanath had stated that Russian Far East had about five million hectares of agriculture grade land, however, most of it was fallow due to lack of manpower and modern farm techniques.
Underscoring that the Russian region was also rich in mineral resources, including coal, diamond, natural gas, timber etc, the official said that the target of doubling farmers’ income could well be achieved by diversifying into food processing and other allied activities, such as dairy.
During the Russia visit, seven government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-business (B2B) memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed with Russia in diverse fields. They included a G2G MoU with Russia’s Zabaykalasky Krai for co-operation in farming and food processing.
Meanwhile, Yogi Adityanath has invited Russian entrepreneurs to invest in proposed UP defence industrial corridor which is projected to attract investment of Rs 20,000 crore. In fact, the state government will soon send a high level delegation to Russia to discuss investment and trade possibilities.
The Indian delegation to Russia comprised about 190 members, including 145 entrepreneurs. The Russian delegation comprising 200 members consisted of their deputy prime minister, ministers and entrepreneurs.
Last month, Israeli Ambassador Ron Malka had met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. During the meeting, the Chief Minister discussed possibilities of co-operation in the domains of agriculture, water conservation and recharging, drinking water, water recycling, irrigation, food processing etc.
The Chief Minister mooted Israeli collaboration in agricultural management, agro marketing, industrialisation, irrigation, crop management, skill development, dairy, infrastructure development, inland waterways, expressways etc, so that UP could derive optimum benefit.