The Federal Government has announced its readiness to partake in the $100bn market for pulses(food crops) in India as it has commenced moves to start growing the plant in commercial quantity for export to the Asian country.
It stated that it was finalising arrangements for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian prime minister in order to ensure that Nigeria exports its pulses to India based on agreed terms.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, disclosed this on the sidelines of the closing ceremony for the Standing Technical Committee on Zero Reject of Agricultural Produce and non-oil Export in Abuja.
He said, “The Indian high commissioner came to our office a few days ago and said that if Nigeria could grow and supply pulses to India, his country would be willing to buy because India has over $100bn market for pulses. This is because it is a staple food in India as every Indian family will either have it for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.
“And the good thing is that this plant matures in four months. So there is no reason why Nigeria cannot partake in that $100bn market. And we’ve figured out that most of the problems we have here is the inability to identify crops that may be needed specifically for some countries for the purpose of export.
Lokpobiri added, “Now that we have specifically identified this (pulses for India), the Indian high commissioner is saying that if we are ready, he will keep the commitment. Therefore, we are looking forward to concretising that arrangement with the Indian high commissioner so that the Indian prime minister can come for us to sign the MoU. We are going to encourage as many people as possible to grow pulses that will mature in four months for this particular purpose.”