Government Says Agri Exports Rose 43.4% In April-September Period
Exports of agri-commodities rose by 43.4% to Rs 53,626.6 crore in the first half of the current fiscal notwithstanding the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Union Agriculture Ministry said on Saturday.
“The export of essential agricultural commodities for the cumulative period of April-September, 2020 has increased by 43.4% to Rs 53,626.6 crore,” the ministry said in a statement.
Farm exports stood at Rs 37,397.3 crore during the April-September period of FY20, it said. In September 2020, agricultural exports rose 81.7% to Rs 9,296 crore from Rs 5,114 crore in September 2019.
Growth was recorded in export of groundnut (35%), refined sugar (104%), wheat (206%), basmati rice (13%) and non-basmati rice (105%) during the April-September of this fiscal year-on-year, it said. Furthermore, balance of trade during April-September 2020 was significantly positive at Rs 9,002 crore as against trade deficit of Rs 2,133 crore in the said period, it added.
To boost agricultural 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 agricultural products are identified across the country and focused interventions are carried out in these clusters.
Eight Export Promotion Forums (EPFs) have been set up under the aegis of agri-export promotion body APEDA to boost export of agriculture/ horticulture products. The EPFs are created on banana, grapes, mango, pomegranate, onion, dairy, basmati rice and non-basmati rice. 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, it said.
That apart, the government has also announced an Agri-Infra Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore to improve the agricultural business environment which will promote agri exports in due course, the ministry said. Besides, the Agriculture Ministry has also prepared a comprehensive action plan towards promotion of agricultural trade i.e to boost export with emphasis on value addition and a detailed action plan for import substitution, the statement added.