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States urged to set up nodal agencies at meeting on agri export policy
Wednesday, 09 January, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The commerce ministry held the first stakeholders’ meet on the new Agri Export Policy in a hush-hush manner, held here on Tuesday. There were deliberations on the policy at the meet, and Suresh Prabhu, commerce and industry minister, urged the state governments to set up nodal agencies dedicated to the implementation of the policy, according to an official statement by the ministry.

He said it was the first time that an agri export policy had been formulated which was comprehensive in nature, as it involved all related sectors like R&D (research and development), 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,” Prabhu added.

The minister stated that the objectives of the policy were to double agricultural exports from the 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, and 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 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,” he added.

Agriculture is the key pillar of the Indian economy, and there is an urgent need for reform in this sector, on which 60 per cent 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 complete in the international market,” read the statement by the ministry.

Meanwhile, during the workshop an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in order to meet the objectives of the agri export policy.

However, the ministry did not reveal the contours of the MoU and the road map for achieving the target of doubling the farmers income, either.
 
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