Montana Sen. Steve Daines promotes pulse crops, Scobey farm during trip to India

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - These bags come in a variety of flavors and get shipped all across the nation. To her, it shows the potential of area farmers.

“To support what Montana and western North Dakota producers are doing and kind of show the world what we are capable of,” said Farver.

The crunchers caught the eye of Senator Steve Daines, who brought them on his trip to India, showing them to Piyush Goyal, the country’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.

“And they were a big hit,” said Daines.

Due to protectionism and steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the US in 2018 , Daines said pulse farmers face tariffs from 22% to 77%, which is much higher compared to other countries. He added that reducing or removing those tariffs needs to be a priority.

“I think it will be a really important part of getting access and bumping up our production and sales there to that market which overall should help sales and the price,” said Daines.

For Farver, a chance to send her products more than 7,000 miles away to the world’s largest market is a big deal.

“We would love to send lentil crunchers to India on a regular basis. That is something that is yet to be seen but it is definitely on our radar now,” said Farver.

While it remains to be seen if those tariffs will be removed, Farver said just being able to promote Montana pulse producers on the international stage is a big win.

Representatives from the US and India will meet on Monday to hold a trade policy forum, the first time in four years. Daines said he hopes agriculture is at the top of the discussion.

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