The Centre has urged states to include last-mile farmers as an essential component of their respective export policies to streamline the national export policy for agricultural products as part of its efforts to address the issue of nonremunerative farm incomes.
“This slight drop is primarily because of glut in foodgrain supply in global markets. Wheat exports suffered badly, sliding to 0.13 million tonnes in 2018 from 0.25 million tonnes in 2017. But exports are likely to look up in this quarter because of a surge in demand of rice in global markets,” said a senior commerce ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.
The country exported 2.8 million tonnes of basmati rice and 5.6 million tonnes of non-basmati rice in April-December 2018.
The focus now is on developing export-oriented infrastructure by involving both central and state governments. State governments have been asked to emphasise on food processing by facilitating enablers such as logistics, affordable warehouse regulations, rural road infrastructure and logistic parks.
The government is aiming to double agriculture exports by 2022, from around $31 billion last year, with a stable trade policy regime. “We need participation of state governments. We have asked them to designate a nodal agency to coordinate and promote agri exports.
We have also asked them to set up an export monitoring committee led by the chief secretary of that respective state and with members from central export organisations such as APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) and the MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority),” the official said.
The government recently launched a new agriculture export policy which recommends diversification of the export basket and destinations, along with boosting high value and value-added agricultural exports including perishables. The new export policy is likely to give a fillip to world agriculture trade which was stagnant between 2013 and 2017.