January 12, 2014 5:32 pm

Premier Redford signs agricultural trade deal with India

Mark Blinch, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON – Premier Alison Redford has signed a trade deal with India the government says will “unlock vast agricultural opportunities” in the country.

Redford signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Meghalaya Sunday.

The province says the agreement will immediately increase the sale of livestock genetics from Alberta to Meghalaya.

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“This region of India has a population of more than 40 million – that’s more than Canada’s population – and it holds huge opportunities for Alberta agriculture producers. In particular, this means Alberta’s innovative and efficient pork producers will have new and exciting opportunities in India,” Redford said in a media statement.

Redford says the deal will also create an agricultural working group which will meet on a regular basis to discuss further trade and cooperation on products such as canola, pulses, and agriculture machinery.

“This will open the door for Alberta companies to meet with agriculture departments and provide more access for our province’s agricultural products,” Alfred Wahl, president of Polar Genetics Canada said in a statement.

The MOU signing comes on the first day of meetings of the trade mission to India led by Premier Redford.

The trip to Petrotech, the largest oil and natural gas trade show in the region, will cost taxpayers $120,000.

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