India-Mozambique to ink pact to import pulses

Raj Kamal Rao
File photo of PM Narendra Modi addressing the India Africa Summit in New Delhi. Photo-PTI

File photo of PM Narendra Modi addressing the India Africa Summit in New Delhi.
Photo-PTI

To address the huge gap in production and consumption of pulses in the country, Union Cabinet has approved a deal with Mozambique to grow pulses to fit to Indian tastes.

A dedicated MoU with Mozambique will be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the South African nation beginning on July 7 to grow pulses exclusively for India.

The decision was long pending and several times in the past India had dropped the option of leasing land to grow pulses in Mozambique on the grounds that it is a “politically sensitive issue”.

The MoU will lead to government to government and government to private sales in future. Government wants to double the imports from Mozambique in next four years. Government wants to increase the trade from 1 Lakh tonnes in 2017 to 2 Lakh tonnes by 2020.

Softening of vegetables and pulse prices have led to decline in CPI.

Softening of vegetables and pulse prices have led to decline in CPI.

While briefing the press on Cabinet decisions on Tuesday, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said government is giving a focused attention to the shortage of pulses and taking steps to increase availability

“Crop will be raised in Mozambique to respond to India’s taste and it will be monitored on Government to Government basis,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

As per the arrangement government will pay Mozambique farmers with minimum support price and India will be able to import at least one lac tonnes of pulses (arhar and tur dal)

When asked about Mozambique not adhering to previous agreements, Prasad said that ‘under PM Modi, India’s image has changed and government will deliver on the promise.’

Under the MoU to be signed on July 7 with Mozambique, India is expected support a network of farmers in the African country with infrastructure support and technology.

Prime Minister is leaving on a five nation Africa vision on Wednesday to ink crucial MoUs to address India’s energy needs. PM’s visit comes at time when China is expanding its base in Africa faster than it expected to be.