Cooperation with Canada in agriculture crucial to India's food security:Prez
President Pranab Mukherjee today said cooperation with Canada in the field of agriculture is crucial to India's food security.
During his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who called on him at Rashtrapati Bahwan, the President said,"India imports 40 per cent of its pulses and 25 per cent of its potash requirements from Canada. With India's large and growing population, food security in the coming years is a strategic imperative for India and Canada can be an important partner in this regard." During the meeting, in which the two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and multilateral issues, the President invited Canada to be partner in India's development, especially in the fields of energy, mineral resources, infrastructure and food security, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.
"There is need to encourage more investment in both directions, from Canada in India's infrastructure and from India, in Canada's resources sector," the President said.
Mr Mukherjee said that India and Canada share fundamental values as two inclusive democracies wedded to federalism, pluralism, individual liberty and human rights.
He expressed happiness that Canada is home to 1.5 million people of Indian origin.
The Canadian Prime Minister welcomed the President's views and said there is need to focus on few areas and deepen the engagement between the two countries.
He said India has needs which can be best served by Canada and for Canada, there is no emerging market more compatible than India to expand its engagement.
He specially lauded the cooperation between India and Canada within the G-20 and said many important achievements have been made by the G-20 due to the joint leadership of the two countries.