CHANDIGARH: The Shanghai Municipal Agriculture Commission will partner the Punjab government to transfer technology as well as help farmers in the state grow Chinese vegetables to give a boost to the state’s diversification drive.

This assurance was given by Shanghai Agriculture Commission Vice Chairman Feng Zhioyong during an interaction at its headquarters. Zhioyong said the commission had already visited Punjab and would identify areas of mutual interest for sharing of best practices. He expressed satisfaction with the measures being taken by the Punjab government to attract industry and said there was a huge scope for investment in the food processing sector.

Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal suggested that the Chinese expertise could rejuvenate the Verka brand and also help in producing ultra heat treated or UHT milk in Punjab which could be marketed successfully during the summer months when there is a shortage in supply. Badal, following the meeting with officials of the agriculture commission, also visited the state-owned Bright milk plant in Shanghai. The plant, one of the biggest in China, is one of the biggest producers of UHT milk.

Business delegate Bhavdeep Sardana of Sukhjit Starch suggested that Punjab could use Chinese agriculture technology in soya bean processing to catapult its agriculture sector to the next level. He said Punjab farmers could also grow vegetables used in Chinese cuisine.

In a meeting with Badal, a large number of high-end bicycle and electric cycle manufacturers pledged their support to the proposed Cycle Valley in Ludhiana. Badal, along with Hero Cycles chairman Pankaj Munjal, discussed the exact nature of investment which could flow into the Cycle Valley as well as the quantum of investment. Several companies said they were looking at investments of $5-10 million dollars in the initial stages.

Munjal, while discussing the business model of the new integrated cycle park, said the company was in the process of tying up with Chinese manufacturers of high-end cycles for different segments. There is an immense demand for lifestyle cycles including mountain cycles. “We in Hero have increased production of mountain cycles from zero to two lakh in two years,” he said.

Promax’s general manager Johny Lin. Promax said that he was in advanced talks with Hero group to set up a facility in Ludhiana. Besides this, Jonson Ju of Shenzhen New Canghai Machinary Co Ltd said his company was not only manufacturing bicycles but also trading worldwide in cycle parts. “We would like to have a presence in the Cycle Valley also,” he said.

The others who met the deputy CM included Brian Tang of Sate Lite, the largest manufacturers of reflectors and Kent Lee of Hangzhou Joy Kie Ind and Trad Co Ltd.