South Americans countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia could extend help to India, which imports huge quantity of agricultural produce including edible oil and pulses
India's cooperation with South American countries especially in the field of food and agriculture is poised get a boost with series of visits by senior officials from region to the country in the next few weeks. South Americans countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia could extend help to India, which imports huge quantity of agricultural produce including edible oil and pulses. Besides many South American countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua and Cuba have also sought India's technical knowhow in agriculture along with request for grain exports.
Next week coinciding with one of the biggest ever business summit in Buenos Aires under the new government, the Joint Secretary for agriculture and livestock of Argentina is going to be in Delhi for an official bilateral visit, followed by a visit by a high level 30 member delegation led by Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply from Brazil Blairo Maggi for exploring opportunities of cooperation between two countries in the field of agriculture.
According to diplomatic sources in the embassy of Argentina New Delhi, “Our Joint Secretary for agriculture and livestock coming to Delhi for an official bilateral visit, which includes meetings with government officials and businesses to outline investment opportunities in Argentina, in line with the new government program.” As reported by FE earlier, high-level delegation from India will be visiting the country in September to participate in the first ever International Business and Investment Forum.
In Colombia, a lot of land which was out of bounds because of the insurgency will become available for cultivation after the final Peace Accord between the Colombian Government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, expected to add 1-2 % to their GDP. Colombia has a land mass of one-third of India with a population of only 48 million. “Colombia can meet some of our requirements of vegetable oil, pulses etc. Some Indian Companies such as United Phosphorus and Sonalika Tractors are already here,” according to diplomatic sources in the embassy of India to Colombia.
During his visit to New Delhi, Cuba’s Secretary (regional) of Foreign Affairs, Gerardo Peñalver Portal said that, “We import $2 billion worth of food, but we want to produce at least 50 %. There is a huge potential for cooperation between India and Cuba in the agro-business sector.”
Explaining about the new economic zone Mariel Special Development Zone, in western Havana, and new investor friendly laws, Portal stressed that there could be in several fields, including the development of renewable energy, agriculture, biotechnology and construction and technologies needed for certification of soil.
Brazil had recently offered to conduct "captive farming" of pulses to meet the growing demand in India during a recent visit of food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan to the south American country. The consumer affairs ministry is now preparing a detailed proposal on the issue.
Yet another important country for India is Ecuador, there have been talks on the expansion of the trade basket. According to Méntor Villagómez, ambassador the ambassador of the Ecuador to India, “Ecuador offers a privileged location, extended production diversity, great potential in agri-business, fishery, aquaculture, forestry, mining, tourism and services and has a favorable legislation on foreign investment.”
Bolivia has already extended its support to India’s stand on food security at the WTO and is willing to open its commodities sector to investment by Indian entities, especially in the area of high-value agriculture produce. Nicaragua, on the other hand, is keen on Indian companies to invest in its gold mines and other high value minerals.
Latin America price arbitrage exists in hi-quality farmland prices ranging from $2000 to $3000 per acre in Uruguay and Paraguay, for ready to farm properties.
Diplomatic sources from Costa Rica say, “Costa Rica offers interesting opportunities for Indian investors seeking to acquire property for agriculture and tourism projects. In fact, the government has a website which outlines the policies and laws for acquiring land in the country.”