The Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Association says he is hoping the Premier's visit to India this week produces some good news.
The focus of Scott Moe's trip to India will be the steep tariffs levied on pulse exports. India hiked tariffs on chickpeas to 60 per cent in March. Carl Potts said Saskatchewan is India's largest foreign supplier of lentils and peas, and the tariffs have been felt by producers.
"You know we've gone from exporting over a million tons of peas and lentils from Canada to a much lower level, something like 90 per cent lower," he said.
Potts said market prices have reflected the drop, with red lentils in particular seeing ten year lows.
"We recognize that this is a government of India policy and it's a policy that needs to change on the Indian government side but it is helpful when senior government officials from Ottawa and Saskatchewan can visit to raise the issue," he said.
Potts said he would like to see issues regarding technical requirements for market access, including fumigation, resolved as well as the tariffs dropped. Potts added despite the challenges Canada is facing with India, there are opportunities looming on the horizon from other possible markets such as China.
"By the end of 2018 I think [China] will have imported more peas than they ever have before and likely more peas than India has ever imported," he said.
Potts said diversifying our markets will decrease our country's reliance on countries like India. He added he has also heard some talk from south of the border regarding demand from pet food companies.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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