The Brazilian delegation led by the Union Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina Corrêa da Costa Dias called on the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan today for a brief interaction and discussing issues of bilateral importance.The interaction was held in a very cordial atmosphere and Secretary, Food and Public Distribution Ravi Kant and Orlando Leite Ribeiro, Secretary of International Relations and Trade, Dalci de Jesus Bagolin, Agricultural Attaché and Pedro Mariano Martins Pontes, Secretary, Embassy of Brazil, were also present during the interaction.
Welcoming the Agriculture Minister of Brazil, Ram Vilas Paswan underlined the excellent political relationship and strategic partnership between the two countries and stated that both the countries have a lot of convergence and understanding of each other on various international issues. Elaborating on the measures taken by the Government of India to ensure the food security concerns of its citizens, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also informed that about 800 million people of the country are presently covered under the Targeted Public Distribution System through which beneficiaries are distributed foodgrains at highly subsidized prices by the Government of India.
Paswan also informed the Brazilian side that India has also launched a Programme named “one nation one ration card” to ensure the Inter-State portability of the ration card. During the interaction, Shri Paswan requested the Brazilian side to consider granting market access for the Indian commodities in Brazil especially, corn seeds and onion request for which are pending since 2012, as a reciprocal measure as India has already granted market assess to Brazil for export of various commodities like cotton, maize, soybeans etc.
Ram Vilas Paswan thanked the Brazilian side for the recent announcement by Brazil regarding visa free travel for Indian citizens and expressed hope that India and MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement would be further expanded for the benefit of both the countries. For sugar and ethanol related technology, research cooperation both countries share their experiences. Both countries agreed to work together in the area of blending ethanol with petroleum to curb climatic change. Brazil proposed MoU with ICAR and National Sugar Institute, Kanpur in the area of milk sugarcane buffalo and ethanol etc.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina Corrêa da Costa Dias thanked the Indian side especially the Union Minister for facilitating the interaction and assured that the issues raised by the India would be given due consideration. She also expressed her hope that the bilateral relationship between the two countries which is one of the oldest in the Latin-American Region will continue to strengthen and deepen over the years as the people of India and Brazil have similar aspirations and developmental challenges.