NEW DELHI: Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday that the Brazil is open to the idea of growing Indian pulses since it has similar agro climatic conditions. India already imports brown eye bean, popularly known as lobia, from Brazil in small quantities.

The news ahead of Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi visiting India on September 1Ind9-21. Paswan is expected to meet the delegation, said sources. Paswan said he has asked traders and private companies in India to be transparent on how much they import from Brazil, where they keep the stock and when they take out pulses. “Brazil has asked us to send pulses seed samples on which they will do research and development and maybe later on go for field trials,” he said.

The India already has an MoU with Mozambique to procure one lakh tonnes pulses. Paswan said Brazil’s President Michel Temer will also be visiting India and a MoU will be signed on cooperation in growing pulses in the South American nation. “I have briefed officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and also apprised the Prime Minister’s Office on this,” he said.

Pulses traders ET spoke to said the climate of India and Brazil were similar and it was a good opportunity for them to explore. “Brazil has land mass, water and similar climate to India. There is possibility of doing R&D on our seed and growing them in fields there in the next 2-3 year. This is how Canada and Australia developed Indian varieties of seeds,” said Pravin Dongre, chairman of Indian Pulses and Grain Association.

Vasant Bhanushali of Allianz India said India was importing small quantities of lobia from Brazil and the traders there were looking at further other pulses to export. Meanwhile, Paswan said there will be a close coordination between industry and the various departments to overcome any issue on availability of pulses. He said the industry brought to notice that the production figures were not correct, thereby leading to a wrong judgment in importing pulses.

“In the beginning of the season, the agriculture ministry said output of pulses for the 2015-16 crop year is estimated at 17 million tonnes and in the fourth estimate said 16.47 million tonnes. This leads to wrong project of imports. So there should be close coordination.”