India on the lookout for higher quality

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Image of Peter Wilson

Pulse Australia chair Peter Wilson.

PHOTO: Melissa Marino

As the 2016 International Year of Pulses nears, Australian growers stand to benefit from opportunities in the market as demand for grain quality increases.

Image of Georgie Aley

Grain and Legumes Nutrition Council CEO Georgie Aley.

PHOTO: Melissa Marino

The mid-year Australian Grains Industry Conference heard that India was emerging asa key higher-value market on which the $1.6 billion Australian industry could capitalise.

Pulses are a staple food in many parts of India and Pulse Australia chair Peter Wilson said a growing middle class on the Indian subcontinent was seeking a higher-quality product.

“India is a rapidly emerging economy and under Prime Minister Narendra Modi I think it has enormous opportunities,” he said. “For the pulse business India is everything.” 

Mr Wilson, who is also an Australian Milling Group director, said the market in India for Australian desi chickpeas – which are often split to make dahl – is expanding.

“Even though the yellow pea does cannibalise some of the desi chickpea demand there is absolutely no doubt that desis can continue to increase in production for a while,” he said.

Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council CEO Georgie Aley told the conference the 2016 International Year of Pulses provided a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the Australian and global industry to “direct and drive an agenda” to increase pulse production and consumption and raise awareness of their nutritional and environmental benefits.

In 2013, the International Year of Quinoa saw launches of quinoa products increase by more than 50 per cent driven by its nutritional properties and flavour profile. “Can we do for pulses what the international year did for quinoa?” Ms Aley asked. “I think we are starting from a much higher base and we have significant opportunities.”


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Region National, Overseas