AUSTRALIAN canola, chickpea, lentil and wheat exporters now have improved market access into Pakistan following successful technical negotiations between Australia and Pakistan.

Minister for agriculture David Littleproud said improved market access into Pakistan created market opportunities for Australian growers and exporters.

“These negotiations have delivered really positive outcomes for Australian farmers and exporters,” he said.

“Firstly, we will resume exporting canola to Pakistan, which has not occurred since 2016-17.

“Secondly, Pakistan has approved methyl bromide fumigation of chickpeas and lentils, and phosphine fumigation of wheat, which will reduce costs and give greater flexibility to exporters.

“This also brings Pakistan into alignment with Australia, India and Bangladesh for preferred rates of fumigation, allowing for easier transhipment across the region.

Mr Littleproud said Pakistan is an important trading partner for Australia. Australia’s agricultural exports to Pakistan grew 35% year on year to $194 million in 2020.

“The negotiations demonstrate the value of the government’s investments in expanding agricultural trade and our agriculture counsellor network over recent years,” he said.

“These investments are vital not just for improving market access for Australian growers and exporters but also for strengthening our relationship with important trading partners.”

Australian Oilseeds Federation CEO Nick Goddard welcomed the improved market access.

“Australian canola growers need more overseas market options for their product, and developments such as this make accessing the Pakistan market just that much smoother for the Australian canola industry,” Mr Goddard said.

Total agricultural exports to Pakistan from Australia were worth more than $194 million in 2020.