Agri surplus should be leveraged in a way that farmers get regular income; India gets competitive advantage in terms of opportunities in global market: Chairman APEDA

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NEW DELHI, 10 September 2021: Addressing the virtual release ceremony of the ‘FICCI-YES Bank Knowledge Report on Enhancing Competitiveness of Indian Agri Exports’, Dr Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India, said that APEDA has identified several countries that have the potential of being excellent markets for the promotion of Indian agri-products. “We are currently handling surplus in supply systems. This supply side surplus needs to be leveraged in a way so that our farmers and producers get regular income and India gets a competitive advantage in terms of opportunities in the global market,” he added.

Dr Angamuthu opined that the actionable points and challenges mentioned in the FICCI-YES Bank Knowledge Report on Enhancing Competitiveness of Indian Agri Exports will aid in a better understanding and working with all stakeholders of the agricultural ecosystem. “APEDA will facilitate and promote several capacity building programmes in association with FICCI and YES Bank so that the report is percolated at all levels,” he said.

Dr Ashok Dalwai, CEO, NRAA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt of India, said that to increase the income of the farmers, we need to connect our farm-gates with distant markets including the global markets. Hence agri exports must be facilitated through ecosystem approach. “Any enterprise demands three things- timely service, adherence to quality parameters and cost competitiveness. When it comes to agri exports, if we can focus on these three basic parameters, we would be winning the game,” Dr Dalwai added.

Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India highlighted various initiatives of APEDA. He mentioned that such initiatives will certainly play a vital role in enhancing competitiveness of Indian Agri exports and help Indian farmers get benefit of several export opportunities in agriculture.

Sanjay Sacheti, Co-Chair, FICCI National Agriculture Committee Country Head & Executive Director, Olam Agro India Pvt Ltd said, “India needs to very aggressively grow its agri-exports, not only in quantitative terms but also qualitative aspects. We have historically been a commodity exporter but there is a huge opportunity to move up the value chain, enrich the profile of our exports and hence capture value at the higher end of goods and services that we are capable of exporting from here.”

Vivek Chandra, CEO-Global Branded Business, LT Foods highlighted the importance of branding the products and ensuring quality at every step of the Agri value chain to propel our country’s agricultural exports.

Drawing analogy with the accelerated growth of exports from India’s IT sector riding on the Y2K opportunity, Sivakumar, COO, ITC Limited, said that the post-Covid world offers a similar inflection point to the agri sector to step up exports of value-added products aligned with the preference of global consumer for food that’s healthy and natural.

Elaborating on the report, YES Bank representative said that commodity focused value chain transformation approach is essential to enhance export competitiveness. Highlighting the key recommendations of the report, he mentioned that Concerted efforts are required towards Tapping small farmers’ potential, building export enabling quality assurance capacities, nurturing an export enabling policy environment, promoting private sector investment, and paving a public-private co-creation pathway for driving exports.

T R Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE Ltd said that we need to create knowledge sharing at ground level so as to prepare our farmers well and enable them to get the benefit of several export opportunities in agriculture.  He also mentioned the importance of traceability and block chain solutions to enhance the value proposition of Indian agri produce.

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