The first national workshop on the agri-export policy, approved by Cabinet recently, was held in New Delhi on January 8, 2019. The workshop was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu.
Speaking on this occasion, Suresh Prabhu exhorted all State governments to set up a nodal agency dedicated for the implementation of the policy. The minister said that this is the first time that an agri-export policy has been formulated and it is comprehensive involving all related sectors like R&D, clusters, logistics, and transportation.
Workshops like these will help to identify bottlenecks, get feedback and suggestions to improve and overcome difficulties in the implementation of the policy.
The objectives of the policy are to double agricultural exports from present $30 billion to $60 billion by 2022 and reach $100 billion in the next few years, to diversify export basket, destinations, and boost high value and value-added agricultural exports, including focus on perishables, to promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic and non-traditional agri-products, institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers/SPS, to strive to double India’s share in world agri-exports by integrating with GVC and enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in the overseas markets.
The vision of the policy is to harness the export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments and make India a global power in agriculture and double farmers income by 2022.
Agriculture is the key pillar of the Indian economy and there is an urgent need for reform in this sector where 60percent of the population of the country is dependent. Diversification of the agri-export basket and diversification of markets where exports can take place is the need of the hour. The average cost of production will have to be reduced so that India’s agri-produce can compete in the international market.
During the workshop, an MoU was signed between Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in order to meet the objectives of the agri-export policy.
Minister of State for Commerce & Industry CR Chaudhary, Secretary Department of Commerce Dr Anup Wadhawan, senior officials of various departments of the Union and State governments, agri-experts, and exporters also attended the workshop.