September 22 India and the US together can work on agriculture technologies, test its scale and take it to the world, stated US Consul General Mike Hankey at the US Consulate General - Mumbai during his maiden visit to Gujarat.
Since agriculture is an area which forms the biggest component of American trade with India, Hankey said that it assumes significance in the bilateral engagement. And hence, he said several US agriculture-focused universities (of the land-grant universities as they are identified in the US) are exploring collaborative partnerships on agricultural research with Indian universities.
"There are things on both sides that can be learnt," said Hankey, stressing that there is a an "opportunity for US researchers to learn from India, because India operates at a scale (in agriculture)."
Benefit from research connections
The US, through its office of Foreign Agricultural Services working under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), looks at a bilateral engagement on bringing new technology in the agriculture practices. This, Hankey said is an area "where both sides will benefit from research connections, wherein Indian and American partners could bring in new technology, test its scale and together take it to the world."
Hankey was on his first two-day visit to Gujarat after assuming charge as Consul General at the US Consulate General –Mumbai, which covers the Western and Central Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Besides being of diplomatic importance from the business and academic aspects, the States falling under the US Consulate General– Mumbai, are also the biggest contributors to some of the key agricultural produces of India. This includes cotton, soybean, groundnut, lentils, oilseeds and rice among others.
On diplomatic relations with India and other member nations of the common regional blocs such as India–Israel–US–UAE (I2U2), Quad (or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue ) group of India, US, Japan, Australia or the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework members, Hankey cleared the US stand stating that the US would seek partnerships with countries including with India on the "shared goals for a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region." Hankey stressed on the economic growth coming from "stable, transparent, rules-based economic systems" and that there were several identified opportunities to share knowledge.
On Gujarat visit
During his two-day Gujarat visit, Hankey met the Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and reaffirmed US commitment to strengthen business ties between Gujarat and United States, and also in areas of women’s economic empowerment and clean energy. He also visited the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT-City) in Gandhinagar.
As part of the US-India collaboration in advancing immunisation globally, Hankey also met pharma doyen and Zydus Group chairman Pankaj Patel and Managing Director Sharvil Patel to discuss innovations in the healthcare sector. The Consul General also engaged with Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) on their efforts to support women’s livelihoods in rural Gujarat while he also interacted with management students from Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad at a round table on US–India partnership in trade and investment.
On his maiden visit as the Consul General, Hankey paid his respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and also visited the Indo-Islamic architecture of Adalaj Stepwell and the iconic street-food night market at Manek Chowk in Ahmedabad to get a taste of heritage and culture of Gujarat.