“India would like to seek cooperation from member countries in helping to meet our production shortfall in crops like pulses and oilseeds,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said while addressing the 6th meet of BRICS Agriculture Ministers here.
This will offer business opportunities for other BRICS countries, which could be tapped through innovative models such as contract farming, leasing surplus land as well as through stepped up production and conventional trade to meet India's requirements, he said. Stating that BRICS have ample scope of cooperation in agriculture trade, Singh said, “We should work together to enhance trade among our countries by resolving market access issues through suitable institutional mechanisms.” The minister also said that India is encouraging higher investment in agriculture both by public and private sectors.
While announcing the joint declaration of BRICS ministers of agriculture, Singh said, “BRICS nations believe in promoting development of agriculture management and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, broadening of the genetic base of crops, livestock and fisheries.”
“With the constraints on natural resources such as land and water, the group firmly believes that enhancement in agricultural productivity and production and product quality can only be achieved through strengthened research, technology transfer and reforming social security and markets,” Singh said.
India has a huge supply-demand gap in pulses and edible oils and depends heavily on imports. The widening gap in pulses' production due to drought in last two years has put pressure on retail prices, prompting the government to take various steps to boost domestic supply.
The government has started importing pulses through state-run MMTC and even entered into an arrangement with Mozambique for long-term supply of lentils.
... Asks China to import farm products like rice & sugar
Seeking greater cooperation in agriculture trade, India on Friday asked neighbouring China to import a wide range of items from it such as rice, sugar, maize and dried grapes. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Qui Dongyu on the sidelines of BRICS agri-meet here and asked China to consider importing these products from India. “I am looking forward for more and more cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors between the two countries leading to further strengthening of bilateral relations,” Singh said in a statement.