Seed Marketing News: Indian Sesame Seeds Seeks Japanese Market Access.

When senior officials of India and Japan meet in New Delhi, India will seek greater market access in the Japanese market, for its farm products such as sesame seeds.

Officials told that India’s Commerce Ministry will be pushing a proposal asking Japan to bring its big ‘general trading companies’ such as Itochu, Mitsui and Mitsubishi to India for bulk purchase of sesame seeds (till).

The meeting will be that of the India-Japan Joint Committee, a panel set up following the signing of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011. The committee’s functions include reviewing the CEPA and suggesting amendments to the pact to boost bilateral trade and investment.

After China, Japan is the world's second largest importer of the item with annual imports of around 1.6 lakh tonnes, so that’s why the focus on sesame seeds. In Japanese cuisine in salads, soups, snacks, candies, and for flavouring and baking, the Sesame seeds are used. Also sesame oil is used in cooking, and in manufacture of soaps, perfumes and pharmaceuticals, while sesame meal is used as poultry feed.

According to Sanjiv Sawla, chairman, Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEC), over two decades ago following the detection of pesticides and insecticides such as DDT and malathion in some sesame seeds consignments from India, Japan has been reluctant to import the commodity from India. However there is no official ban in Japan on import of sesame seeds from India.

Mr. Sawla said “The issue is yet to be resolved and Japan is insisting that the seeds should be pesticide and insecticide-free. For that we have even taken them to the fields where the item is grown, so now besides asking the farmers to shift to organic farming, we are encouraging our farmers to use pesticides/insecticides permitted as per global norms”.

With an annual production of around 7 lakh tonnes, India is the world’s largest sesame seed producer. India’s sesame seeds exports in FY'15 was 3.76 lakh tonnes valued at Rs.4717.77 crore but it slipped in FY’16 to 3.28 lakh tonnes worth Rs.3011.52 crore.

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