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India and Brazil are discussing a proposal to open the Brazilian market for Indian dairy products, including camel milk and special cheese, two senior officials from the two countries said. 

Both governments are collaborating on this initiative, following the recent opening of Brazil to Indian millet exports.

The proposed partnership also involves plans to set up a centre of excellence in Amreli, Gujarat to boost milk production and improve herd quality. 

“There is a sector in Brazil that wishes to import camel milk and we are discussing this trade from India to Brazil in terms of camel milk. Some people in Brazil want to import other dairy products like Cazain and some special cheese, yellow cheese specifically,” Brazilian agricultural attache Angelo de Queiroz Mauricio told Mint in an interview.

“There is a discussion of making two sister cities. One is in Uberaba, Brazil, which is the very centre of dairy cytogenetics in Brazil and Amberli of Gujarat–a joint project for establishing Zebu Research Institute in both countries to promote the production of milk and enhance the quality of the herd,” Mauricio added.

Additional plans include the setting up of a research institute in India, with Brazilian cooperation. This project will involve the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the Indian Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), and the embassy, with a committee overseeing its progress, he added.

Queries sent to the ministry of external affairs, departments of commerce, and animal husbandry and dairying remained unanswered at press time.

India and Brazil share a close and multifaceted relationship both at the bilateral level as well as in plurilateral fora such as Brics, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, besides the UN, WTO, and Unesco. Both countries have been strategic partners since 2006 with several MoUs, including an agreement on the development of animal husbandry, especially dairy.

Trade relations between the two have grown steadily with a target of increasing two-way trade to $50 billion by 2030, commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal said last October. 

In 2023, bilateral trade of major products, including agricultural goods, between India and Brazil was $11.5 billion against $15.1 billion a year ago, according to the data from the Brazilian embassy. In 2021-22, India imported close to $1.5 billion in agricultural goods from Brazil but exported a mere $71 million. 

Indian imports of vegetable oil, sugar and pulses were major contributors to this trade imbalance. India exports spices and processed vegetables in far smaller quantities to Brazil. This proposed initiative in dairy trade is seen as a step towards rectifying this trade imbalance and enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Source : The Mint Jan 29th 2024 by Puja Das

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