The Commerce Ministry will soon put out a draft Agricultural Export Policy for comments from the public, according to a senior official.
The proposed policy, which aims to boost shipments of farm items by identifying niche products and new markets, also has a focus on value addition and reduction of wastage through pre and post-harvest interventions, Santosh Sarangi, Joint Secretary in the Ministry, said at a press conference on the two-day mega international food and beverage trade show —‘Indus Food’ starting January 18.
More than 400 exhibitors are expected to participate in the event, besides buyers from about 43 countries. About $2.5 billion worth of business is expected to be finalised during the event, as per government estimates.
Farm exports must touch about $60 billion by 2020 from $31 billion in 2015 to help achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ incomes in line with the government policy.
Exports from the segment rose 18% to $21 billion in April-October 2017-18 period as against just 5% in 2016-17.
The proposed agricultural export policy will also help develop agricultural clusters. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu had said recently that, “If there are clusters for industry, why should we not think about clusters for agriculture.”
“Farmers have the right to access global markets and get better prices (for their produce),” Mr. Prabhu said.
He added, “We have to develop global supply chains and we will work on that.” The proposed policy would also cover issues such as logistics, certification and traceability to increase shipments of farm produce including coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables.