Greenhouse construction in its infancy
Wouter Verhey is stationed at the Dutch embassy in India as an agricultural adviser to facilitate for Dutch corporations. "My role is to support Dutch companies exporting their knowledge, technology and products to India." Horticulture is an important sector to Wouter and his team. "The are good at it, and our knowledge is tailored to the Indian needs."
"Right now you see a lot of small growers, but you see a slow switch to covered growth. All large (Dutch) seed companies can be found here, also with their own research, as well as a few greenhouse builders. Greenhouse construction is still in its infancy, but it's beginning to take off", Wouter Verhey explains.
Centers of excellence
The Dutch are also facing challenges. "India is not an easy market. They are good negotiators, and our technology is still very unknown. We emphasize that Dutch technology might be expensive, but that the return on the investment is high. If you can prove that, the growers are willing to join."
The government sees the development of horticulture as very important and cooperates in this area with two countries: the Netherlands and Israel. Wouter: "It is rather special that such as small country as the Netherlands has a preferred status in such a large country as India."
In the coming summer the places will be traded. Wouter will become a agricultural adviser in Peking, the working location will be the People's Republic of China (inc. Hong Kong) and Mongolia. His place as agricultural adviser is being taken by drs. Siebe Schuur.