Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare ministers of India and Brazil resolved to strengthen cooperation. Reports indicate that Brazil may start importing rice and wheat from India after expressing interest. Ties between the countries strengthened after Brazil’s President was invited to be Chief Guest at Republic day ceremony in India.
Bilateral Trade of Rice and wheat
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar discussed bilateral trade with Brazilian Agriculture Minister Costa Dias. The official release after the minister’s meeting of both countries revealed Brazil’s willingness to import wheat and rice from India. Further, they also discussed interests and opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors in both countries.
In addition, Dias mentioned that both countries face similar problems with the large population dependent on agriculture. She said that Brazil has a large number of small farmers without market access and lack of innovation and technology. Further, Dias stated that India will benefit from exporting wheat, rice, millet, and sorghum. Brazil will make efforts to remove bottlenecks that will boost trade between the two countries.
Potential of India and Brazil
Tomar, holding portfolios of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, stated that bilateral trade (2018-19) was less than both the country’s potential. India and Brazil traded for USD 1.045 billion, which does not fully reflect the strength of both economies. Citing the complementary and synergies of both countries, Tomar stated the need to encourage more trade.
Discussion on PDS
The Brazilian delegation also had an interaction with Ram Vilas Paswan, Union minister of consumer affairs. Paswan highlighted the political relationship and strategic partnership of both counties. Further, he mentioned an effective targeted public distribution system providing subsidized food grains to 800 million people of the country. Besides, he highlighted ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme that ensures inter-state portability of ration cards.
Access to Market
Paswan also requested Brazil to grant access to markets for corn seeds and onions, pending since 2012. However, India has already provided a market for Brazilian commodities like cotton, maize, and soybeans. Further, he thanked the Brazilian government on visa-free travels and MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement. Apart from this, both countries discussed climate issues and how blending ethanol with petroleum can help it.
In all, India and Brazil have the same aspirations and development challenges, and cooperation can help them.