DILI, 03 october 2023 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Filipus Nino Pereira, held a meeting with India’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh to discuss the signing of a rice trade agreement to ensure food security amid rising rice prices in the country.
During the meeting, Minister Singh emphasized the importance of establishing a government-to-government (G2G) agreement between the two countries for Timor-Leste to import rice from India.
“We have considered Timor-Leste’s request to import rice from India. We would like the Timorese government to approach our government to discuss the matter further,” Singh told reporters, in Dili.
Minister Pereira said that Timor-Leste had always wanted to import rice from India to tackle the rising rice prices in the country: “The establishment of a rice trade agreement with India is important to tackle rising prices of rice and preventing rice shortages in the country.”
He said that Timor Leste is expected to import more than 40,000 tonnes of rice from India, annually.
Recently, India experienced a slight decline in rice production in all parts of the country, with many expecting that rice production for the 2023-24 season to fall by two million tons due to a dry august.
In august, India banned its rice export which impacted millions in Asia, contributing also to the rise of the rice prices in Timor-Leste.
India continues to be the main rice exporting country, accounting for almost 40 percent of the world’s rice trade last year.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomino Martins