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Luisa Cheshire

BY LUISA CHESHIRE

India angles for US trade deal

Indian officials hope to discuss US access for Indian grapes, pomegranates and lychees during US President Obama's visit this week

India angles for US trade deal
India wants to export its grapes to the US

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India's Ministry of Agriculture is expected to broach an Indo-US trade deal with visiting US President Barack Obama to open America's doors to more Indian fruits, a report in deccanchronicle.com suggests.

Sources in the ministry told the publication about a possible agreement to facilitate the export of Indian grapes, lychee and pomegranates to the US, in return for Indian market access to US pork, poultry, dairy and pet food.

Meetings between President Obama and top Indian leaders today (Monday) were also set to seal agreements in other agricultural sectors, notably technology, the report said.

A senior ministry official said India was seeking US help in weather prediction in a bid to improve crop management and address India's growing food security concerns.

The official also said that Indo-US cooperation is expected to give India the chance to partner the US in developing agri-related activities in the developing world, especially African countries.

Meanwhile, a separate report in fnbnews.com suggests India will double its US exports within the next four years. Exports in September stood at US$103bn as against US$81bn the prior year, showing an average growth of 27.6 per cent, it quotes a government official as saying.

The report says Indian export body Apeda pegs Indian food export growth at 12 per cent per annum in the processed food and fruit sectors. 

Exports of agricultural products from India are expected to cross the US$22bn mark by 2014 and account for 5 per cent of the world's agriculture exports, it adds.

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