Philippines eyes more agricultural exports to India

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is planning to export more agricultural commodities to India in a bid to reduce the country’s trade deficit with the South Asian economy.

The Philippines and India have renewed their partnership to strengthen technical cooperation and market access to increase food production for both countries.

This came after Agriculture Secretary William Dar had a bilateral meeting with India Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.  Dar is currently in New Delhi for BioAg Asia 2022.

The partnership aims to provide Filipino and Indian farmers with higher income and achieve a more balanced trade of goods.

Dar said the Philippines would promote more quality export products to India to reduce the current trade deficit.

In 2021, India exported $450-million worth of products to the Philippines, while buying a measly $50-million worth of Filipino goods.

Dar said the Philippines would benefit from India being one of the world’s biggest rice producers and exporters. India is also leading in the development and commercialization of natural and biological farm inputs.

Further, the agriculture chiefs agreed to create a joint technical working group, composed of experts from both countries, tasked to scale up existing partnership and explore new areas of collaboration.

This would focus on aquaculture and marine, renewable energy, risk reduction management, and natural and biological farm inputs.

The technical working group will be scheduled for a series of meetings in the next two months.

India, for its part, vowed to support initiatives to level up Philippine agriculture through the installation of various science-backed projects including the satellite-based insurance system and soil and water management.

Tomar also ordered the Indian Council for Agricultural Research to extend assistance and oversee that the collaborations will be carried out in partnership with DA’s key technical agencies.

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