India may become major food exporter to Russia
Russia has put one year ban on sourcing agricultural products from EU and US, giving India a chance to tap the market.
India is likely to reap economic benefits from the soured relationship between Russia and Western countries.
At present, the Commerce Ministry is engaged in discussions with the Russian government for export of agricultural products, including fruit, vegetables, beef and dairy items.
"There is a huge opportunity for us to export farm produce to Russia. We have started talks with the Russian government as we are in a position to export a good part of their requirements," said a Commerce Ministry official.
It may be recalled that Russia had imposed a one-year ban on imports of food items from the US, the EU, Canada, Norway and Australia in response to sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. The items banned include beef, pork, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, milk and other dairy products.
India accounts for less than one per cent of Russia’s total imports and has been eyeing its agriculture market for a long time.
Quality certification issues are the major hindrance Indian food exporters have been facing in the Russian market. But, with the Russian Government eager to explore alternative markets, it might not remain a stumbling block.
“We are talking to Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance for quick inspection of our facilities so that we can start exporting meat and egg products,” the official said.