Indian government has announced that it would reduce the tariff on lentils to zero from 11 per cent while the prohibitive 66 per cent tariff on chickpeas will remain as it is.
In 2016-17, 2016/17, chickpea exports to India were valued at $1.14 billion and lentils were worth $196 million.
Soon, India added a new tariff on Australian chickpeas and lentils thus creating financial consequences for Australian farmers.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before the introduction of the tariff India was the world’s largest customer for lentils.
Grain Producers Australia chair, Barry Large told Farm Online that this move would help Australian growers capture more value for their product.
“The reduction of this tariff now is a welcome, positive step towards rebuilding trust and confidence in this important export market, to help optimise this high-value crop’s potential.”
This year, Australia’s farmers have recorded a good grain harvest.
Grain Growers chief executive Dave McKeon told ABC that he hoped the negotiations would create an opportunity to better conditions for Australian farmers.
“We need to have an innovative and forward-focused approach to avoid unnecessary trade barriers into the future.”
It is expected that many Australian farmers would have lentils ready to trade into the Indian market.
This reduction in tariff would definitely benefit the Australian farmers and Indian consumers who are looking forward to quality products.
Grain Producers Australia spokesman Andrew Wiedemann told ABC that it was great news for Australian farmers.
“I don’t think you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, knowing how much this is going to mean to the Australian economy, particularly in agriculture.”
This decision to reduce tariff comes days after meeting between the trade ministers of India and Australia.
The Hon. Dan Tehan has visited India as part of negotiations for a free trade agreement.
This new decision, effective immediately, was announced over the weekend and experts believe that it could unlock millions of dollars of value for Australian lentil exporters.