Agriculture Export Policy to be in line with WTO norms
The proposed National Agriculture Export Policy — aimed at doubling the Country’s farm exports to $60 billion by 2022, placing India among top 10 agriculture exporters in the world and promoting stability in export rules — is being vetted at the Inter-Ministerial level and will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval.
“All the measures proposed in the Agriculture Export Policy are compatible with World Trade Organisation norms. Financial provisions are being made only for measures that are permitted under global trade rules such as marketing and promotion and infrastructure building such as development of clusters,” an industry source revealed recently.
With India moving out of the income bracket of per capital gross national income of less than $1000, it is not allowed by the WTO to give export sops.
The thrust of the policy, formulated in line with the vision to double farmers’ income, is to boost high value and value-added agricultural exports and focusing on perishables. “India’s export of value-added products is very low and there is huge scope of improvement,” the source said. Improving India’s reliability as a global supplier of farm products is also one of the deliverables of the policy.
An operational recommendation proposes development of export-centric clusters for a more focused pre- and post-harvest management of the production as well as in upgrading the supply chain to attain much higher levels of export from those clusters.
Some of the clusters proposed are for bananas, pomegranates, mangoes, grapes, litchis, apple, tomato, mint, ginger, chillies and potatoes.
The draft agriculture export policy also proposes working towards making institutional changes (with the involvement of States) such as reforming the APMC Act and streamlining of mandi fee and liberalising land leasing policy without compromising the rights of the land owner.
Other thrust areas include marketing and promotion of “Produce of India”, infrastructure and logistics to support agricultural exports, establishment of strong quality regimen, self-sufficiency and export-centric research & development.