Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India and China should explore the possibility of increasing trade in agriculture products, particularly those in which there is scope for increased volume of trade from India, in sugar, tobacco, cotton and horticultural products.

This was discussed at a meeting here on Wednesday when a Chinese delegation led by Minister for General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Li Changjiang, called on Minister of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sharad Pawar.

Mr. Pawar informed the visiting delegation that India was in a position to export horticultural items, sugar and cotton to China provided there was a preference for these items by consumers. As of now, a beginning had been made to export grapes and mangoes to China as the Chinese Government was satisfied with India's capacity to enforce the requisite protocols for exports of these items.

India has a surplus on agricultural trade with China. In 2005-06 India's total export of agricultural items to China was to the tune of $ 250.87 million. The major items of export comprise spices, oilmeals, sesame seeds, castor oil and marine products. India's agricultural import from China during the same period was valued at $ 56.22 million, the major items being pulses and spices.