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Indian tariff may take a toll on Prairie pulse crop acreage
Indian tariff may take a toll on Prairie pulse crop acreage

Indian tariff may take a toll on Prairie pulse crop acreage

India imposing 50 per cent tariff on pea imports and 30 per cent on chickpeas and lentils

By Kate Ayers

Staff Writer

Farms.com

India’s tariffs on Canadian pulse crop imports are projected to influence how much acreage farmers will plant this year.

Tariffs are 50 per cent on pea imports and 30 per cent on chickpeas and lentils, according to a Canadian Business article yesterday.

India is Canada’s largest importer of pulse crops, so impacts from the tariffs are inevitable, Dan Mazier of Manitoba’s Keystone Agricultural Producers, said in the article.

Seed sales have taken a considerable plunge since the fall and less acreage is expected to be planted in the spring, according to Simon Ellis, co-owner of Ellis Seeds in Wawanesa, Man.

Earlier this week, Ellis urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to put review of India’s tariffs near the top of their to-do list.

“They really need to get over there and do what they can to work out trade issues there as quickly as possible,” Ellis said in the article.

Those who are affected should contact elected officials, he suggested.

Fortunately, the construction of a pea-processing plant in Portage la Prairie should benefit the pulse industry in the province, Mazier said in the article.  

Indeed, the value added to products locally (versus selling the raw product) will help to boost the regional economy.

James Cameron, a Hollywood movie director, is also promoting the health benefits of pulses following his investment in a Saskatchewan pea-processing plant. And celebrity endorsement of ag doesn’t hurt the industry, Mazier said.

“The world markets are looking for these plant proteins, which can help out the rest of the food chain.”