Canada and India reach agreement on pulse exports

By Nigel Maxwell
February 24, 2018 - 8:00am Updated: February 24, 2018 - 9:30am

Saskatchewan pulse growers have received some good news from the Prime Minister's office.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a joint statement Friday, committing to work closely to finalize an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols. 

Trudeau left his state visit to India Friday, which beagn on Feb. 18.

Chris Chivilo, president and CEO of Canadian Pulse Processor W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions, released a statement through Pulse Canada's website. He participated in the CEO panel at the Prime Minister's Round Table.

"The joint statement issued after the meeting I attended is an important milestone in pulse trade relations between Canada and India. The Prime Ministers have recognized the importance of food security and science-based approaches to plant protection policy. We will need to continue this collaboration and finalize solutions that will work for both Canada and India," he said.

The announcement regarding fumigation should please the Saskatchewan Stock Growers. Executive Directive Carl Potts told paNOW earlier this week he wanted to see Canada receive an exemption from India's rule which requires all countries fumigate their shipments. He said Canada does not have the pests of concern that India is concerned with, and the fumigation process does not work well in cold weather.

However, one notable omission from the statement was India's import tariffs on peas, lentils and chickpeas. Potts has said producers were blindsided when the tariffs were imposed in November. Saskatchewan is Canada's largest pulse producing province, churning out about 50 per cent of Canada's peas and about 90 per cent of the country's lentil and chickpea crops.

While there was no mention of the tariffs, the joint statement emphasized the importance of ensuring access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all and notes that transparency and predictability of market access conditions, including the sharing of information on the production of agricultural commodities, are key to advancing the food security goals of both countries.


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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell


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