Agricultural export policy: Suresh Prabhu asks states to set up nodal agency for implementation
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu Tuesday asked states to set up a nodal agency dedicated for the implementation of the agriculture export policy. Last month, the Cabinet approved the agriculture export policy with an aim to double farm shipments to USD 60 billion by 2022. Prabhu was speaking at the inauguration of the first national workshop on the policy.
The minister "exhorted all state governments to set up a nodal agency dedicated for the implementation of the policy," the commerce ministry said in a statement. The policy involves all areas including 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 statement said quoting Prabhu.
The objectives of the policy are to double agricultural exports from the present USD 30 billion to USD 60 billion by 2022 and reach USD 100 billion in the next few years, diversify export basket, and boost high value and value added agricultural exports.
Agriculture is the key pillar of the Indian economy and there is an urgent need for reform in this sector, where 60 per cent of the population is dependent, the policy said.
"Diversification of the agri export basket and diversification of markets where exports can take place is the need of the hour. Average cost of production will have to be reduced so that India's agri produce can compete in the international market," it added.
During the workshop, an MoU was signed between Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) to meet the objectives of the policy.