Agri Business

India seeks BRICS help to meet shortfall in pulses, oilseeds

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on September 23, 2016

pulses

File Photo of Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh

File Photo of Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh

Points out business opportunities on offer for other member countries

India has sought the cooperation of fellow BRICS members — Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa — to help meet the country’s production shortfall in pulses and oilseeds.

Agriculture Ministers from BRICS countries have agreed to promote production of pulses in their respective countries and raise awareness about its nutritional aspects, according to the joint declaration adopted at the end of their meeting in New Delhi, on Friday.

“All five countries said that they would encourage growth of pulses. There was unanimity on that,” said Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, addressing a press conference on Friday following the Ministerial meeting.

Earlier, speaking at the meet, Singh said that India had asked BRICS members to meet the shortfall in production of crops such as pulses or oilseeds, which offer business opportunities to other BRICS countries.

“It 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,” the Minister added.

Import dependence

India is heavily dependent on import of pulses to meet the shortfall in production in the country.

To encourage cultivation of pulses, the government has announced a high minimum support price (MSP) this year and has also started procurement in some States, such as Karnataka.

Due to better rains this kharif season and a higher MSP, production of pulses is estimated to rise to 20 million tonnes in 2016-17 (July-June), but demand for pulses is greater, at 23-24 million tonnes. The BRICS nations also decided to cooperate in agriculture research by setting up a virtual BRICS Agricultural Research Platform.

The platform will promote food security, sustainable agriculture development and poverty alleviation through strategic co-operation.

Singh said that since the proposal has just been endorsed by the Ministers, the Memoranda of Understanding will be signed at a later stage.

“The BRICS members shall cooperate in the domain of agricultural research and development, technology transfer, capacity building and information sharing through networks of agriculture and allied disciplines,” the joint declaration of the BRICS Ministers stated.

The joint declaration also stated that member countries would work together to address water-management issues, chronic food insecurity and promote agricultural sustainability.

Published on September 23, 2016
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