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India Plans to Takes its Contract Farming Model to Mozambique

To control mounting prices of food, especially pulses, back home and bolster economic ties with the continent while avoiding the contentious issue of leasing land, India plans to take its cooperative or contract farming model to Africa. India will identify a network of farmers with the help of local agents and help them with seeds and other improvements under the cooperative model. These farmers will also be assured of New Delhi buying their product at a rate not less than the minimum support price of the same produce in India.

Officials says that, this policy will help the country stay away from the politically sensitive issue of leasing land for farming.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, when India enters into a government-to-government pact with Mozambique to import pulses, the first phase of this policy will be inaugurated on July 7.

Now a days India faces a shortage of 7.6 millions of tonnes of pulses, to meet the shortage, a staple source of protein for many and has been taking several import measures. On many counts, looking at Africa for import is a viable option. Africa has almost 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land. And this agriculture cooperation will also help leverage economic ties between India and countries in the continent.

Indian official said that, India believes to ensure a steady supply of agriculture produce, replicating its contract or cooperative model in farming is the best option available. What is being looked at with Mozambique can be expanded to other countries.

The plan is to step up the cooperation in phases in the case of Mozambique. The secretary of economic relations in the ministry of external affairs, Amar Sinha said, “Now we are looking at the import of 100,000 tonnes of pulses from Mozambique. But the idea is to grow the network of farmers.”

The sources said, “There are many countries such Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, where we can explore the idea of cooperative or contract farming. Ensuring food security is the primary responsibility of any government.”

There are many African countries that India is looking at replicating what is planned in Mozambique.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/