Sudan seeks India's help to boost agriculture sector

Sudan seeks India's help to boost agriculture sector

Sudan today sought India's help in the use of alternative energy in irrigation to boost its agriculture sector.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid held talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Ahmed Karti, who sought help in building the agricultural sector of his country.

"The minister reminded me that it is important that India should assist... with alternative energy, solar energy" to allow ground water to be used for agriculture in areas where water is scarce, Khurshid said.

"We would certainly look at applications of sprinkler irrigation, applications of drip irrigation, that India has improved and perfected," he said.

"There's a lot more that we can do together," Khurshid said after he arrived here on the final leg of his three-nation tour of Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.

Khurshid and Karti sought to firm up political and economic ties with bilateral trade set to touch USD 1 billion mark this year.

"We need to further intensify our political, economic, capacity building and cultural ties for a better common future. The Nile and the Ganges are mighty rivers by themselves, but when they join hands, no might in the world will be able to stop their natural flow and progress," he said.

"Our trade figures are expected to reach close to USD 1 billion by the end of the financial year 2013-14," Khurshid said.

India is the second largest exporter for Sudan. During the year 2012-13, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 888.28 million with Indian exports of USD 754.94 million and this year it was likely to cross USD 1 billion mark.

The two sides discussed cooperation in manufacturing and agriculture, Khurshid said.India along with China are major investors in the Sudan-South Sudan oil sector.

Several Indian companies like ONGC-Videsh Ltd (OVL), BHEL, TCIL, Progressive Construction Ltd and Tata Motors are active in the violence hit North African country.

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