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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

11. Africa’s Pulse Exports to India



Pulses play a key role in driving the development of modern agriculture and are an important source of food security. Changing food preferences, combined with rising incomes and populations in major consuming countries, are creating a global pulse shortage. The pulse trade between India and Africa holds considerable potential. The pulse industry in African countries has developed without a lot of focused intervention. Pulse cultivation on the continent is mainly an intercropping solution. On the other hand, pulses in India are an essential food ingredient along with being one of the cheapest sources of protein. Nevertheless, the Indian pulse sector grapples with price volatility. The entry of East African pulses in India has been facilitated by the Government of India’s State Trading Corporations and some private traders for almost the entire span of the pulse trade between the two regions. However, export from Africa to India is accompanied by challenges such as a lack of information, poor transport facilities, and language barriers. The pulses industry in India is heavily integrated with the processing sector. The demand from the diasporic community and India’s 2006 pulse export ban has pushed pulse processors and exporters to look for alternative set-ups. East Africa proves an attractive destination for such set-ups, on account of the availability of pulses through the network of smallholder producers, tax free schemes that promote exports and industrialisation, and the low cost of labour. Certain Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the region have duty free access to American and European markets. Given such a trade climate, India has to intensify its engagement with Africa, present more transparency in its trade, and take into consideration global factors while deciding on its trade restrictions to strengthen its relations with Africa in the pulse sector.
Africa’s Pulse Exports to India
Bharat Kulkarni
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