COVID 19 Pandemic and even the lockdown associated with it are not able to hold the growing trade relationship between Australia and India.
At the start of the week, Australian Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud virtually met with his Indian counterpart Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar to discuss ways to further improve trade links between the two countries.
The two ministers discussed the agricultural trade relationship including the India-Australia Grains Partnership, improved market access and closer cooperation.
Minister Littleproud said, “Today was an important meeting with Minister Tomar – it is a true testament to the strength of our bilateral relationship that we were able to meet today given the challenging COVID-19 situation in India,”
“The key to this relationship is building on and increasing agricultural trade between our two great countries, even small gains can mean large value for Australian exporters.”
Last year, the India-Australia Grains Partnership was committed by both nations, despite Ministers face multiple agricultural issues in their respective countries, they aim to support closer grains industry relationships and share their expertise.
- Australia’s two-way agricultural trade with India was valued at over $1 billion in 2020. Australia’s key agricultural exports to India in 2020 were lentils, greasy wool, almonds, raw cotton and oats.
- In 2020, Australia achieved market improvements for the in-transit cold treatment of pome fruit, summer fruit and table grapes and the phosphine treatment of malting barley.
- Market improvements for Australian grains, pulses and nuts (phosphine fumigation) are currently being negotiated along with market access for avocados.
“But this doesn’t just stop at market access. Australians are experts in grains storage, handling and supply chains, and we wish to share this knowledge with the world to help improve food security,” Minister Littleproud explained.
India’s large population and its dependence on monsoon based agriculture system at times struggle to deal with demand and supply troubles.
Mr Littleproud said as a good friend and trade partner Australia is offering itself as a reliable supply source.
“Australia can be a partner of choice of India, offering our expertise and supporting India to manage fluctuations in their domestic grain supply.”
Australia realises that access to safe, reliable food will be more important than ever as India and the world recovers from COVID-19.
“We are also working with our Indian partners to resolve trade barriers and seek approval of improved market access conditions such as in-transit phosphine fumigation for export commodities, which will provide more treatment options for Australian exporters, said Minister Littleproud.
“We are proud to be able to play our part in improving food security to one of our most important trading partners.”