Tokyo-based Mayekawa Manufacturing Co. is in talks with India's Andhra Pradesh state officials to bring Japanese technology to the state's poultry industry.
Last November N. Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, visited Japan and met with the representatives of Japan's biggest poultry processing machinery manufacturer.
During a return visit in early March, Yoshiro Tanaka, chairman of Mayekawa, said that it had alliances with 25 Japanese companies that were looking to invest an estimated US$9 billion in India's food processing sector.
According to company officials, no poultry products are being exported from India to Japan presently, so Japan has to rely mainly on imports from Thailand, China and Brazil.
"India is investing a huge budget in food parks, so foreign companies can work in India," said Jun Oshima, a spokesman for the company. "And the national government is willing to provide subsidies and tax benefits if the food is produced in India."
There are already "six or seven" Japanese food processing firms operating in India and Mayekawa is keen to provide them with the latest food processing technology at the dedicated food parks, Oshima said.
Besides promoting sales of Mayekawa equipment, the arrangement will also provide jobs, help local farmers and cut down the amount of waste that comes from inefficient processing of poultry, Oshima said.
Stressing that the discussions were in their early stages, Oshima said no timeline had been attached to the project.
The key problem now restricting Indian chicken exports is bird flu, said Ashwani Kumar Rajput, the executive director of All India Poultry Breeders Association. "India is a large country and there are frequent instances of bird flu in one area or the other, making the whole country blacklisted for exports," he said.