NEW DELHI: Haryana Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Dairying and Animal Husbandry, Minister O P Dhankar emphasized on the potential of Haryana to become a peri-urban agri and dairy hub in the region.nnDhankar was speaking at the CII Northern Region Conference on Food Processing and Dairy at New Delhi today.nnHaving proximity to Delhi-NCR, Government of Haryana sees great potential to provide direct selling platform to farmers with an aim for zero-wastage with its recently launched ?Haryana Fresh? initiative, emphasized Shri Dhankar. He mentioned the importance to balance quality with branding and marketability when it comes to food and dairy industry.nnMs Rajni Sekhhri Sibal, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, elaborated on the opportunities that lies in the fisheries sector. ?Having exported 47,620 crores worth fish in FY2017-18, India?s fisheries sector has been accounting for a 7 per cent year-on-year growth rate,? said Ms Sibal.nnIn order to increase our exports, Sibal invited industry in mariculture and sea-weed production with emphasis on technological integration into the process.nn?Food Processing plays an integral role in linking farmers to consumers? said Jasmohan Singh, Chairman, CII Northern Region, Agriculture and Food Processing Committee and Managing Director, Frick India Ltd.nnHe stressed that food processing industry value adds to the agri and allied sector.nn?North India is a repository of food supply to the rest of the country? mentioned Mr Gokul Patnaik, Chairman, Global AgriSystems Pvt. Ltd.nnHe emphasized that Food Processing is the engine that drives agriculture growth and highlighted on the importance of contract farming to solve backward linkage issues and steady investments by private players to resolve logistical issues. He further suggested to decrease GST rate on primary agriculture produce to 0 per cent and 5 per cent for processed food so as to make healthy food consumption a reality across all sections of the society.nnA CII report titled ?Food Processing & Dairy Industry: Challenges, Solutions and Sustainability? was also released during the conference. The conference was attended by over 130 delegates from the agri and allied industry.