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Agri Minister Narendra Singh Tomar holds Bilateral Meetings with the Ministers of Guyana, Suriname, Zambia, Mauritius & Sri Lanka

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Union Agriculture Minister ShriOn 19th March 2023, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various countries like Guyana, Suriname, Zambia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka who participated in the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023 held in New Delhi, Delhi.

Meeting with Guyana’s Agriculture Minister:

During the Meeting with Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustafa,  Union Minister Tomar stated that agriculture is a very important area of cooperation between the two countries.

  • During the meeting both countries complement each other as Guyana has vast arable land and water availability and India has the technology, expertise, and skilled manpower, which will mutually benefit both countries.
  • India is keen to share its expertise and experience in the development of agriculture and allied sectors in Guyana, for which an MoU is under finalization.
  • India has assured that Guyana’s request for the deputation of two experts to ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) from India for three years to support the Guyana Sugar Corporation management and revive the sugar estates/plants in Guyana would be considered at the earliest

Meeting with Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture:

During the meeting with  Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture Parmanand Prahlad Sewdien, Union Minister Tomar noted that 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname.

  • He noted that as discussed during the second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Agriculture, the draft Joint Action Plan for 5 years (2023-27) would be ready soon and India will provide a wood export facility from Suriname to India.
  • India’s exports of agri-related goods to Suriname in 2021-22 was USD 4.34 million.
  • He also stated that if offered by Suriname, India would agricultural cooperation projects and depute agricultural scientists under the ITEC programs to conduct studies for the cultivation of Shree Anna in Suriname.

Meeting with the Agriculture Minister of Zambia:

During the meeting with the Agriculture Minister of Zambia Reuben Mtolo Phiri, Union Minister Tomar highlighted that Zambia is one of the few African countries that has benefited greatly from India’s development cooperation programme.

  • India provides scholarships for various higher education courses, ITEC training slots and special capacity building programs under the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) along with Exim Bank credit, Railway Wagons, Flood Relief Grant and Line of Credit.
  • India is one of the leading investors in Zambia with committed investments of over US$ 5 billion.

Meeting with Mauritius’s Minister for Agri-Industry and Food Security:

During the meeting with Manish Gobin, Minister for Agri-Industry and Food Security, Mauritius noted that  People of Indian origin comprise around 70% of the Mauritius population of 1.2 million.

  • Diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948.
  • India is one of the largest trading partners of Mauritius. The bilateral trade grew by 69% to reach USD 786.72 million in 2021-22.
  • The cultural and people-to-people relations between the 2 countries were nurtured by Indian Cultural Center in Mauritius (India’s largest in the world) and the World Hindi Secretariat, a bilateral organisation for the promotion of Hindi.

Meeting with Agriculture Minister of Sri Lanka:

Various topics of agriculture were discussed during the meeting with the Agriculture Minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Amaraweera.

  • Significant populations of both nations are dependent on agriculture and both nations have similar priorities for taking this sector forward.
  • India has been one of Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners and Sri Lanka is one of India’s largest trading partners in SAARC(South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

India & World Food Programme of UN signed MoU during Shree Anna

During the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference 2023, the Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations(UN) for cooperation between 2023-2027.

  • The MoU will be jointly implemented by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution(MoCAF&PD); Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare(MoA&FW), Ministry of Women and Child Development(MoWCD), Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change(MoEFCC).

Key People: 

The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, MoA&FW, Manoj Juneja, Deputy Chief Executive Director (CEO), Management and Chief Financial Officer of UNWFP, and Elizabeth Faure, WFP Representative and Country Director in India.

Millets Stats in India:

i.India’s export of millet is 64 million USD FY22. There is an increase in the export of Millets by 12.5 % during the period April-December 2023 as compared to the same period last year.

ii.India is exporting millet to 139 countries across the globe.

  • The major importing countries were the United States of America(USA), Australia, Japan, Belgium etc in 2011-12 which had been shifted to Nepal (USD 6.09 million), United Arab Emirates UAE (USD 4.84 million) and Saudi Arabia (USD 3.84 million) in FY22.
  • Kenya, and Pakistan are also among the potential import destinations of India.
  • The other seven destinations in the current top-ten list of India’s millet export are Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, the United Kingdom (UK), Yemen, Oman and Algeria.

iii.India is the largest producer of millet. Its major millet-growing states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

iv.Millet grown in India is Pearl Millet, Sorghum, Finger Millet and minor Millets like Proso Millet, Kodo Millet, Little Millet, Foxtail Millet, Browntop Millet, Barnyard Millet, Amaranthus and Buckwheat.

Recent Related News:

i.The Government of India (GoI) has introduced a new Integrated Food Security Scheme beginning January 1, 2023, to supply free food grains to more than 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

ii.APEDA signed MoU with Lulu Hypermarket LLC to promote the export of millets to the Countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). APEDA in association with Lulu Group aims to promote millet products and value-added products around the world.

About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):

Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar (Constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Sushri Shobha Karandlaje; Kailash Choudhary