New Zealand’s Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy called on Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh along with a senior level delegation. Singh said, “There is a great scope for enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries in agriculture and allied sectors. Both the countries need to explore possibilities in entering into a bilateral institutional agreement.”
Singh expressed India’s desire to cooperate and learn from the experience of New Zealand in the areas of livestock, processing, cold chain management, animal breeding, etc., as well as kiwi cultivation and its post-harvest management and protected cultivation of high value crops.
He further said that India would also be interested in scientific exchanges in the fields of pasture management for sheep management, management of mutton type sheep and exchange of programmes of experts from Government sheep farms.
Stressing the need for increase in India’s exports to New Zealand, he said that there is a great possibility of New Zealand importing a large number of agricultural commodities such as garlic, grapes, wheat, groundnut, sugar etc. so that bilateral trade between the two countries may be pushed up further.
He also emphasized the need for establishing a formal institutional framework of cooperation in the priority areas. Singh referred to nine rounds of negotiations held between the two countries towards examining feasibility for establishing a free trade agreement and comprehensive economic cooperation agreement. He also said that both the countries need to work progressively to resolve phytosanitary issues.
Nathan Guy mentioned that New Zealand is already sharing its expertise in the field of IT, hospitality and tourism with India. He also assured that New Zealand will do its level best towards establishing a free trade agreement.
Singh requested New Zealand to extend its cooperation in setting up of an Indian company named Indian Immunological Limited, which will work in the field of controlling disease in animals through vaccination.