What more do you want?! A successful trade mission in India gave our school the attention and appreciation of minister Schouten for our existing and new collaborations and projects in India.
Read more below or watch the video (partially Dutch), made by Loes Witteveen and others.
Part of the Dutch mission to India last week was a visit by minister Schouten (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) with a team of experts. VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) was one of the experts in the field of dairy and horticulture.
Central themes in the two-day visit were the sharing of knowledge and collaboration projects. In the presence of prime minister Rutte and minister Schouten, domain director Tjalling Huisman and our Indian partner Baramati signed an agreement in New Delhi with the companies Trouw Nutrition, Larive International and SmartDairy. They agreed to develop a joint demo and training project for Indian dairy farmers.
Minister Schouten: "We are on a trade mission in India because we want to emphasize the good relation between the Netherlands and India and of course we’d like to see if there are some business opportunities. But a very important part of the mission, especially in the agro field, is the sharing of knowledge."
The next day the minister flew to Baramati, Pune, to lay the first stone for a great Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence Dairy, together with Agricultural Development Trust President Sherad Pawar. The centre will offer research facilities with eight demonstration stables for Indian and Dutch cows. VHL will give advice, do practice based research and offer schooling for trainers and students in the new centre.
And finally minister Schouten visited the Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence Vegetables that was opened last fall. Professor Rik Eweg signed an agreement here, with Agricultural Development Trust, HollandDoor and HAS Den Bosch to support the development of this Centre in the next three years.
Minister Schouten is enthusiastic: "To me, the very best thing is the exchange possibility for students. Students from India come to the Netherlands, to the knowledge institutes, to see how we work in the Netherlands. And the unique thing is 'train the trainer'. The people who work in the Centres of Excellence, the students there, will become the ambassadors who will bring the knowledge to the farmers, so they can increase there productivity in a good way."
The minister’s visit was an important milestone for VHL and partner in the six-year collaboration with Baramati Agricultural College, Agricultural Development Trust. The joint ‘2+2’ courses Agribusiness started in 2012, making it possible for Indian students to study for two years in Baramati and another two years in the Netherlands. Two years ago they added another joint course aimed at livestock farming. Research projects were also executed with Dutch and Indian companies, Indian farmers and Dutch and Indian researchers. Students from both countries do internships and graduation research projects within this collaboration.
And there’s more ambition in the Agricultural Development Trust. If all goes well the Centre of Excellence Dairy will be ready in 18 months. Two weeks ago the Indian Innovation Platform under the guidance of prime minister Modi awarded a grant to the Trust for the realization of an incubator for business start-ups. Rajendra Pawar, chairman of the Trust, aims to realize a Science Park where Indian, Dutch and other international companies in the agro field will set up their businesses.
When the new airport will be ready in a few years, Baramati will become the Indian hot spot for food & agro. VHL continues to collaborate closely with Dutch companies and knowledge institutes. The University of Applied Sciences and businesses involved can count on full support by the Dutch government, minister Schouten assured.