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India seeks German support

India hopes Germany can convince the EU to lift its continued ban on Indian vegetables

India seeks German support

Indian brinjal, or aubergine, are one of the four banned vegetables

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India wants Germany to lobby the EU to lift its ban on four Indian vegetables, reports the Economic Times of India.

India’s minister of agriculture Radha Mohan Singh appealed for German support on the issue during an inter-governmental meeting held in India yesterday (5 October), the paper said.

The EU banned imports of Indian brinjal (aubergine), taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd last May due recurrent pest interceptions.

But Singh told the German delegation that the ban continued despite an EU inspection which approved Indian efforts ensure pest-free exports.

The minister told the German delegation to “provide necessary support for lifting the ban on these items for exports to the EU”, the Economic Times said.

At the same meeting, India and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent for cooperation in food safety and good agriculture practices, especially in the field of plant protection products.

The deal will facilitate mutual exchange of scientific and technical expertise and information and strengthen the professional qualification of experts, the paper said.

In addition, the Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) and German AgriBusiness Alliance (GAA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly establish centres of excellence in agriculture, with an aim to provide skill development in Indian agriculture.

In a statement, German AgriBusiness Alliance spokesman Joerg Rehbein said: "With this initiative, we hope to raise awareness on emerging areas of agriculture technologies and their application and adopt best skill development practices and concepts from India and Germany."

ASCI Chairman Sanjeev Asthana said: "The proposed Indo-German Centres of Excellence in Agriculture shall provide both short and long-term practical, professional skill training on modern technologies and methods and organise demonstrations of technological advancements."

Germany is India's largest trading partner in the EU and seventh-largest foreign investor in India, according to the Economic Times.

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