India to support Africa's food security projects

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) India today offered its support to African nations in their quest for food security, with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee extending the government's total help in agriculture extension, livestock development, fisheries, horticulture and climate change projects.

''Food security was one of the critical issues facing the world, particularly developing countries. The problem has been aggravated by the prices of agricultural commodities which were ruling high globally,'' Mr Mukherjee said here while addressing the business session of the India-Africa Forum Summit organised jointly by FICCI and CII.

The challenge before Indian trade and industry was to broaden the ambit of trade, apart from increasing direct investments into Africa, he said.

At present, India's exports destined for Africa accounted for merely 7.7 per cent of its total exports while imports from Africa constituted 7.6 per cent of its total imports, the Minister said.

Mr Mukherjee said India's intention was to enter into long-term and sustainable partnership with African countries, with a special focus on capacity building and skill development.

He said India would set up training centres in Africa in areas such as trade, IT, entrepreneurship development, education, gold and diamonds.

Mr Jakaya, Mrisho Kikwete, President of Tanzania and Chairman of the African Union, pointed out that ''India's interest in Africa should be a long-term engagement, not to exploit the natural resources of the continent, make huge profits and run away.'' He said Indian companies must transfer the skills and the technology to the African people, while assuring industry that the African nations would create conditions inhospitable to corruption.


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