The consistent and concerted efforts of the Government to boost agricultural exports are bearing fruit as despite of the on-going Covid-19 crisis, the export of essential agri commodities for the cumulative period of April-September, 2020 has increased by 43.4% to Rs 53626.6 crore as compared to Rs 37397.3 crore in the same period last year. Major commodity groups which have recorded positive export growth during April-Sept, 2020-21 vis-à-vis April-Sept, 2019-20 are Groundnut (35%), Refined Sugar (104%), wheat (206%), Basmati Rice (13%) and Non-Basmati Rice (105%) etc.
Furthermore, balance of trade during April-September 2020 has been significantly positive at Rs 9002 Crore as against trade deficit of Rs. 2133 during the same period in 2019. On month to month basis (MoM), India’s agricultural export of essential agricultural commodities during September, 2020 has been of Rs 9296 crore against export of Rs 5114 crore during September, 2019, showing an increase of 81.7%.
In order to boost agri exports, the Government announced Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 which inter-alia provides for cluster-based approach for export-centric farming of cash crops like fruits, vegetables, spices, etc. whereby clusters for specific agri products are identified across the country and focused interventions are carried out in these clusters.
Eight Export Promotion Forums have been set up under the aegis of APEDA to boost export of agriculture/ horticulture products. The EPFs are created on Banana, Grapes, Mango, Pomegranate, Onion, Dairy, Rice Basmati and Rice Non-Basmati. The EPF are making concerted efforts to identify, document particulars of, and reach out to stakeholders across the entire production/ supply chain of export for increasing these exports significantly to the global market, through various interventions.
Recently, the Government has also announced Agri Infra Fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve agri business environment which shall promote agri export in due course.
Besides, DAC&FW has also prepared a comprehensive action plan/strategy towards promotion of agri trade envisaging twofold approach viz. to boost Agri Export with emphasis on value addition and a detailed action plan for Import Substitution.