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February 07, 2011

Ethiopia invites Indian farmers for commercial farming ventures

Where do you think the urad, tur or edible oil varieties that you consume would come from after a few years? Ethiopia is not an unlikely answer.

The Ethiopian minister of agriculture, Tafera Derbew, has invited farmers from India to start commercial cultivation of pulses and edible oils with freedom to export the produce back to India, as the minister met India minister of state for consumer affairs, food & public distribution, KV Thomas.

The offer looks attractive as India currently imports 50% of edible oil and 15% of pulses demands. India is the largest importer, consumer and producer of pulses. Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique supply pulses to India and that in figures mean 1.5 - 2 million tons of pulses.

Meanwhile, Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and The Bureau of Indian Standards have been helping Ethiopia with their expertise. Standardization and watershed development are the areas where India can potentially help Ethiopia.

From the Indian side, KV Thomas asked for single-window clearance facility for Indian entrepreneurs, so that they can take up farming in Africa.

India has invested close to $4.4 bn inAfrica with 40% in commercial agri sector.

Latin American countries like Argentina and Uruguay have also been inviting farmers from India to take up farming ventures there.


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