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Quality and Best Practices of Utmost Importance for Success of Agri Export Policy

February 6, 2020
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Quality and Best Practices of Utmost Importance for Success of Agri Export Policy

Farmer Connect Portal set up for FPOs/ FDCs and Exporters by APEDA

25 potential Agri clusters identified

APEDA National Workshop with states on Agri Export Policy and Cluster Development

Agriculture is the core of India’s developmental goals and exports are the key to reforming the agriculture sector said Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan in his inaugural address at the 2nd National Workshop on the implementation of the Agri Export Policy (AEP) and cluster development in New Delhi today organized by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

It is the States/ Union Territories (UTs) that will have to strengthen their institutional mechanisms for putting in place the AEP and development of clusters added Commerce Secretary. He further said that this is an opportunity for the States/ UTs to formulate a comprehensive plan, covering all key areas of the AEP, across all sectors in agriculture like horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, dairying, food processing, floriculture and water shed development. The institutional framework of the AEP must be outcome oriented and all States/ UTs must provide a budget for it added Commerce Secretary.

Commerce Secretary emphasised that the best agronomic practices in all the sectors of agriculture must be followed in the State AEP because quality of India’s agri products should never be compromised. States/ UTs should not only concentrate on quantitative output of agri produce but be extremely meticulous about the quality. Best practices must be followed at every step so that there is no compromise whatsoever in the quality of India’s agri products stressed Commerce Secretary.

He further said that the AEP must have a decentralised focus that is built up from the cluster level to the district and the state level plan and the policy must link up with all schemes of Government of India across all Ministries and Departments and project the vision for the agriculture sector for the next five years.

APEDA organized the 2nd workshop with all States/ UTs in order to assess the progress made by them for the implementation of the AEP and development of agri clusters in districts. Twenty-seven States and one UT attended the workshop today where Chairman APEDA spelt out the expectations from State Governments/ UTs for successful implementation of AEP so that farmers income may double and India’s agri export may reach the target of USD 60 billion by 2022.

Chairman APEDA informed that States/ UTs must put in place the state agri export action plan, set up state level export monitoring committee, designate a nodal agency for agri export, identify agri clusters, set up district agri export action plan, promote farmer producer organization (FPOs) and farmer producer cooperatives (FPCs) identify infrastructure and logistics gap. Chairman APEDA further stated that States/ UTs must formulate the budget for implementation of AEP and seek assistance from line Ministries of the Central Government for existing schemes when required. Reforms under APMC Act and abolition of Mandi Tax for export procurements must be done urgently he said. He further stated that district authorities must ensure control of excessive use of pesticides and sale of unauthorized pesticides and chemicals.

He informed that around 15 States have put in place the nodal agency, nodal officer, state level monitoring committee and cluster facilitation cell for the implementation of the AEP.

APEDA has initiated some steps for the implementation of AEP: an MoU was signed with National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in January last year to include cooperatives in the AEP; a farmer connect portal has been set up on the APEDA website for providing a platform for FPOs, FPCs to interact with exporters and more than 1000 FPOs have registered on the portal; buyer-seller meet cum workshops between exporters and FPOs have been organized in association with state nodal agencies; cluster level meetings have been held by APEDA in 25 potential clusters in the country and a market intelligence cell has been constituted to disseminate e-market intelligence report and also analyse the data received.

During the day long workshop presentations were made by line Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and NABARD. Exporters of agri produce also presented their success stories and issued faced by them to export agri products. Success stories of clusters developed in Varanasi for vegetables and banana in Andhra Pradesh were shared with the other States/ UTs. The state of Sikkim which has declared itself an organic State made a presentation on implementation on the Organic Mission in the agriculture sector. The Indian State of Sikkim is first to be certified as fully organic by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and has shown that conversion from traditional to organic agriculture is not only possible but necessary as a more profitable solution for local economies.

The workshop was attended by Director General, DGFT, senior officials of the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Civil Aviation, departments of Commerce, Logistics, Food Processing Industries and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.

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