Kerala CM to visit Netherlands, discuss flood prevention, water management

The Hague: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijay will make a four-day visit to the Netherlands to discuss cooperation in water management, flood prevention and agriculture.

The visit will be at the invitation of the Dutch Government, an Indian Embassy release said.

The Netherlands, with 26 per cent of the country below sea levels, is a world leader in the field of water management and flood control. It is also the world’s second largest exporter of agriculture products. It is known for high productivity in a densely populated area, with more than half the nation’s land area used for agriculture and horticulture.

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Kerala witnessed the biggest floods in 100 years in August 2018. Following the floods, two Dutch water experts were part of the United Nations/Asian Development Bank/World Bank/European Union Mission to Kerala. Subsequently, the Dutch Government sent a four-member Disaster Risk Reduction Mission in March this year. It has submitted a report to the Kerala Government on Kuttanad, the region in the state below sea level.

During the visit, the Kerala Chief Minister will meet Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management and Mr. Jan Kees Goet, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture.

He will interact with representatives of business community in a meeting organized by Mr Hans De Boer, President VNO-NCW (Dutch employers’ federation). The Chief Minister will also visit the Port of Rotterdam to discuss inland water management and also see first hand measures taken for flood control and water management by the Dutch Government. He will meet agricultural experts of the University of Wageningen to understand latest agricultural techniques in horticulture and floriculture.

Other items in the Chief Minister’s programme include paying a visit to the National Archives of the Netherlands to view items in their collection pertaining to the Dutch presence in Kerala in the 17th century and holding discussions on digitizing Dutch records in the possession of Kerala State Archives. He will also meet and interact with the Indian community during the visit.


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