The Indian government is considering producing lentils in Mozambique and in Myanmar and plans to send delegations to the tow countries to analyse the feasibility of the project, the Indian Food Minister told New Delhi Television (NDTV).
Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the TV channel “we can grow lentils in those countries or sign long term supply contracts,” and added, “to do that, we are sending teas to both those countries, on trips that will take place soon.”
Ram Vilas Paswan said lentil production in India has been in decline “for at least three years” which has increased the price by 200 rupees per kilogramme. The prices of two other essential vegetables to the Indian diet – tomatoes and potatoes – have also remained high at 80 and 35 rupees per kilogramme, respectively, despite the government’s efforts to contain prices.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in the first week of July is due to visit four African countries – Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique. In Mozambique he is expected to discuss food production with the local authorities.
India consumes around 23 million tons of lentils per year and produces 17 million tons. Consumption of lentils in India is rising at a rate of 1 million tons per year. (macauhub/MZ)