Spices for Indian kitchens from distant Comoros

February 23rd, 2011 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Shubha Singh
New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Spices such as cloves and pepper used in Indian kitchens will soon have a flavour of Comoros, an Indian Ocean island nation located in the Mozambique Channel between northern Madagascar and Africa. India too is looking forward to exporting medicines to the tiny country of 700,000 people.Indian businessmen have travelled to Comoros to sign contracts for import of the new crops of commodities that will be available in August/September. The spices from Comoros are cheaper than similar produce from Sri Lanka.

With this, the trade between India and Comoros is expected to show a healthy increase.

Comoros, one of the largest producers of cloves and nutmeg, channels most of its produce through Madagascar. The cloves, nutmeg and white pepper from Comoros will reach India through Dubai or Madagascar.

Comoros Foreign Minister Fahim Said Ibrahim, who was in Delhi recently to attend the India-LDC Ministerial conference, said “direct trade has started between India and Comoros”.

Comoros, one of the Least Developed Countries (LDC), has a largely agricultural economy and is heavily dependent on imports to meet its requirements.

It imports medicines from Mauritius, but the majority of these drugs are made in India. Indian businessmen are now looking to export medicines directly to Comoros.

“India has offered to help Comoros in the power and health sectors and in the fields of vocational training and human resource development,” Ibrahim, who met with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, told IANS.

The Comoros minister said India is ready to support the development process of Comoros.

There is a proposal to set up a vocational training centre in Moroni, the capital of Comoros. Besides, a power plant is to be set up outside Moroni.

People from Comoros have started travelling to India for medical treatment as the cost of treatment is lower than that in France or other neighbouring countries.

Relations between India and Comoros gained momentum after the visit of the President of the Union of Comoros, Ahmed Abdullah Mohamed Sambi, to New Delhi in November, 2007 on the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the International Conference on Federalism.

Last year a five-member delegation of the Comoros Chamber of Commerce had visited India to attend the India International Trade Fair.

(Shubha Singh can be contacted at shubhasingh101@gmail.com)

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