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'India negotiates with African nations to import pulses'

New Delhi: India has entered into agreements with Malawi and Mozambique for the import of pulses and is negotiating with some other African nations to source pulses for meeting the domestic requirement, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Tuesday.

Addressing the inaugural session of the India-Africa Agriculture and Food Processing Summit 2021, he highlighted that India is the fourth largest trading partner for Africa and has become the fifth largest investor in Africa with its cumulative investment at $70.7 billion.

India could explore the possibility of increasing its economic and commercial ties with Africa, the minister said.

Stating that food security is a common thread that binds both India and Africa, Muraleedharan said India has donated food aid worth of $15.8 million to various African countries under humanitarian assistance.

"India has entered into agreements with Malawi and Mozambique for imports of pulses to meet growing domestic demands. Currently, we are negotiating MoUs with some other African countries for import of pulses," the minister said. India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses. It imports pulses to meet domestic demand.

Muraleedharan mentioned that Africa has significant land to offer for production of various products.

"India would like to explore the opportunity to invest overseas and produce crops, while creating large scale employment, generating income, and even allow the economy to move up the value chain through creation of agro-processing facilities," he said.

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