Battle to resolve the chickpea dispute hurting our farmers

CHICKPEAS: A field of Irrigated chickpeas
CHICKPEAS: A field of Irrigated chickpeas CONTRIBUTED

THE Federal Government is going to great lengths to resolve a trade dispute involving Queensland's fastest-growing export product.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud will travel to India to try to mend a dispute caused by the country's decision to slap a 30 per cent tariff on Australian chickpeas.

Chickpeas have been identified as one of the markets Gladstone Ports Corporation wants to grow.

In 2017 there were 368,951 tonnes of chickpeas shipped out of Gladstone to India and Bangladesh.

AgForce Grains president Wayne Newton said India's decision was a "devastating blow" for Queensland grain growers who produced 86 per cent of the nation's chickpea exports.

"A 30 per cent import tariff will slash growers' incomes into the future and what's even worse is that an estimated 200,000 tonnes of chickpeas and lentils were already on their way to India when this decision was announced in late December," he said.

Mr Newton said access to key international markets like India was vital for Australian agricultural exports like chickpeas.

"With Australian farmers exporting about three quarters of what we produce, reducing trade distortions in global markets and achieving new export opportunities is critical," he said.

Topics:  agforce chickpeas export farmers gladstone ports corporation

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