Farmers’ Protest: The Reason For Canada PM Trudeau’s Blurt
Commenting on the ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi, Canada PM Justin Trudeau said, “The news coming out of India about the protest by farmers is concerning and we are all worried about family and friends. I knew that is a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests.”
This blurt is obvious. He is pandering to a domestic Sikh constituency than bothering about relations with India.
So, what is the reason for Trudeau to make such ill-informed and unwarranted comments?
Before answering the question, it will be in good interest to understand the business of pulses and lentils between India and Canada.
Canada is one of the largest exporters of lentils and pulses to India in millions of tons. These yellow peas are used as a substitute for Indian chickpeas in popular dishes like dal when desi prices are high.
However, ever since the Covid pandemic hit global economics, PM Narendra Modi has laid stress on Atmanirbhar Bharat and among many economic decisions, he has imposed import restrictions on pulses and lentils.
This has resulted in the displacement of 1.5 million tonnes of annual yellow pea imports with the desi chickpeas, which means an increase of demand in three million tonnes of additional desi chickpea due to the Covid food aid program and the extra business caused by the shutdown in pea trade.
Clearly, one can expect a very enthusiastic planting of chickpeas for the upcoming rabi season. Normally, farmers plant 37 million acres of rabi pulses, including 25 million acres of chickpeas. This number is going to increase with farmers getting good prices and the existence of ideal seeding conditions.
The soil moisture conditions of the rabi planting are very favorable. Moreover, about 100 water reservoirs across India are full or nearly full.
In fact, there has been a cut in the import of lentils and pulses in lakhs of tonnes this fiscal and is expected to further plummet.
This is what is worrying Trudeau. And guess, who is the biggest farmers’ community in Canada?
Your guess is right just as ours.
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