February 11, 2016 12:59 pm
Updated: February 11, 2016 1:06 pm

Agriculture minister heads to India seeking trade opportunities

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is heading overseas to India to explore agriculture trade opportunities.

File / Global News

REGINA – Saskatchewan’s agriculture minister will soon be going to India for a trade mission.

From Feb. 13-20, Lyle Stewart will visit Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, India to explore more trade opportunities by meeting with importers, businesses and government representatives.

“Saskatchewan is Canada’s top exporter to India and it is important for us to strengthen this relationship and find new opportunities with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” Stewart said.

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According to the provincial government, in 2015, Saskatchewan’s exports to India were more than $1.8 billion. The top exports were lentils, peas, and potash.

Looking at just agriculture exports to India, the total was $1.5 billion. The government also says Saskatchewan relies on international markets to buy goods as only about five per cent of what the province produces is consumed locally.

“This mission will help solidify our trade relationship for established products including pulse crops and potash, while also allowing us to have conversations about future imports such as canola, flax and oats,” Stewart said.

The agriculture minister will also participate in the Global Pulses Conclave, held by the India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), during his trip. The government is partnering with the IPGA by supporting its pulse awareness plan.

The plan intends to increase awareness of pulse crops among among farmers, businesses, governments and consumers. Pulse crops are edible seeds harvested from the pod of a variety of annual leguminous plants. Pulses grown in Saskatchewan include peas and lentils.

Representatives of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership (STEP) and SaskCanola will also be on the trip.

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