Indian companies urged to grow oilseeds, pulses in Africa

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) India on Wednesday said it was keen to collaborate with countries in Africa in the production of oilseeds and pulses in the continent.

“I hope that Indian companies will explore in collaboration with African counterparts the cultivation of oilseeds and pulses, the production of which has been falling for some seasons,” India’s Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said at the India-Africa Agribusiness Forum here organised by industry chamber Ficci.

The current sowing season of pulses and oilseeds has witnessed a widening gap in the sown area of both crops compared to the corresponding period last year.

The gap in sown areas, attributed to low residual soil moisture and the unusually warm winter this year, is causing concern as India depends heavily on imports to meet domestic demand.

The minister also said that India has embarked on a second Green Revolution with the focus on raising productivity in the country’s eastern states.

“The government has given Rs.300 crore to the states for agriculture development, of which Rs.125 crore has been earmarked for the eastern states,” Singh said.

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