Minister Littleproud meets Indian agriculture and commerce ministers
23 January 2018
Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, was pleased to have his first meeting with India's Central Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Hon. Krishna Raj. The meeting took place in New Delhi, last night Australian time.
Minister Littleproud said two-way agricultural trade between India and Australia topped $3.4 billion in 2016–17, with the partnership offering great potential for growth for both nations.
"India is now a top-tier trading partner for Australian farmers and food producers, and the Australian Government wants the best outcomes for farmers and consumers in both nations as that relationship continues to expand," Minister Littleproud said.
Minister Littleproud presented Australian concerns over the recent tariff changes made by India on pulses, and the impact they are having on Australian pulse producers when implemented without notice.
"Australia has increased its pulse production over recent years with a particular goal of better supplying high-quality, safe products to the Indian market, where pulses are such a key part of people's daily diet. Australia exported $1.1 billion worth of chickpeas, $197 million worth of lentils and $29 million worth of mung beans to India in 2016–17," Minister Littleproud said.
"As a dependable supplier, certainty in our trading relationships is critical for ongoing growth and reliable returns at the farm gate.
"Australian suppliers of pulses need that certainty to ensure continued high quality exports into the future."
Minister Littleproud also welcomed the opportunity to meet India's Minister for Commerce and Industry, His Excellency, the Hon. Suresh Prabhu, in New Delhi overnight, Australian time.
"Australia and India are two of the world's most significant agricultural producers and our partnership has the potential to underpin greater prosperity in both nations for many years to come," Minister Littleproud said.
Minister Littleproud noted the significant complementarity in this agricultural trade, with Australia supplying pulses, grains, cotton, wool and nuts to India, and India supplying rice, spices, tea, coffee, and various food ingredients to Australia.
"The $3.4 billion flow of agricultural goods between our nations is a major pillar of our total two-way trade in goods and services that reached $20.7 billion in 2016–17," Minister Littleproud said.
"India and Australia share great agricultural traditions. We both stand to benefit from open trade and the free flow of ideas, and continuing our substantial bilateral cooperation in agriculture."
Minister Littleproud is leading the Australian delegation to India for the Australia India Leadership Dialogue from Sunday 21 January to Tuesday 23 January 2018.