Australia-India strategic partnership has exciting ag prospects

Aussies, Indians 'don't always see eye to eye', but big ag trade beckons

Agribusiness
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Agriculture Minister says the PM has helped position Australian farmers to tap into the huge Indian market

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Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is applauding the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreed this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Indian counterpart Narenda Modi.

"India is too big to ignore," he said.

"It is projected to be the world's third largest economy in by 2035 with 1.6 billion citizens - and demand for food is set to outstrip supply.

"We haven't always seen eye to eye, but unlocking these opportunities demands a reliable trading partner and long-term commitment from both government and industry."

As Minister for Agriculture it was an honour for him to champion Australian agribusiness under the India Economic Strategy "as we move this relationship to the next level".

Both countries continued to explore development of a bilateral partnership on grains management and logistics following India's recent agreement to improve access for Australian grain to its 500,000 tonne malt barley market.

Mr Littleproud was encouraged by progress being made on various market access issues and the commitment of both sides to continue negotiations.

There are huge opportunities for Australia's world-class, clean and safe products in this thriving market, but patience and persistence are required - David Littleproud, Agriculture Minister

India already ranked as one of our great trading partners worth $1 billion annually in two-way trade which included about $664 million in agriculture, fishery and forestry exports from Australia.

"The timing of this partnership is critical in the context of COVID-19 as we look to explore export opportunities for our farmers in a post-pandemic world where access to safe, reliable food will be more important than ever," he said.

"There are huge opportunities for Australia's world-class, clean and safe products in this thriving market, but patience and persistence are required."

In Australia, India also had a committed partner it could trust, with a government backing its farm sector's efforts to improve trade and dialogue at all levels.

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"We're providing capacity building training to accept modern biosecurity treatments for our exports," he said.

"We've posted a second agricultural counsellor in India and we're working to improve Indian crop forecasting so Australian pulse farmers can make more informed decisions about what they plant each season."

He looked forward to representing farmers as the trade relationship moved "from strength to strength".

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The story Australia-India strategic partnership has exciting ag prospects first appeared on Farm Online.

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