Government to set up Agricultural Export Zones to boost exports: Minister Suresh Prabhu

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New Delhi October 25, 2018: Government will soon be setting up specific agriculture export zones well placed with ports and airports in the country aimed at boosting India’s agriculture products exports internationally.

“The government has also drafted a new National Agriculture export policy to support the export of organic products. The policy has been jointly prepared by the ministries of commerce, agriculture, and food processing. The commerce ministry will also set up a series of centres in states to help organic farmers to brand and sell products to international market, where demand for such products is high.” Said Mr Suresh Prabhu Union commerce minister while inaugurating a Three-day Biofach India 2018, India’s leading trade fair for organic food jointly organised by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Nurnberg Messe India here today.

“India produces about 600 million tonnes of agriculture and horticulture products annually; the new agriculture policy has been unveiled with the vision to double the farmers’ income and increase the share of agricultural exports from present about USD 30 billion to over USD 60 billion by 2022. The policy will also help in checking food and vegetable wastage which is about 30 per cent at present by increasing exports and increasing food processing”, Suresh Prabhu said.

“The government is also in touch with various countries including UAE, Oman and other countries to increase export of agriculture products to these countries as they need to import large quantity of food products. Ministry of commerce is also in touch with China for export of rice and pharmaceuticals from India and after long period   the first consignment of rape seed will be exported to China soon” the minister said.

 “The agriculture export policy has pitched for greater involvement of states, improvement in infrastructure and logistics, and promotion of R&D activities for new product development for the upcoming markets.” he added

“More than 5000 delegates  comprising of Exporters, processors, retail chain industry, certification bodies and producers from India and abroad are participating in the Biofach 2018, the trade Fair-cum-Exhibition to discuss and have first-hand feel of the Indian organic products including tea, spices, honey, basmati rice, coffee, cereals, dry fruits, vegetables, processed foods and medicinal plants” said Mr Paban K Borthakur, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) speaking on the occasion.

“The major highlight of the Biofach 2018 is APEDA has set up an Organic Theme Pavilion by APEDA having direct display of items and to provide direct business opportunity to India organic food product producers with visiting international buyers through B2B and B2S meets. APEDA has invited and sponsored more than 50 buyers from important importing countries for direct market linkages of producers with international trade.” said Mr Borthakur.

The demand for organic Agri products produced is on constant increase worldwide as Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As on 31st March 2018, total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) was 3.56 million Hectare (2017-18). This includes 1.78 million ha (50%) cultivable area and another 1.78 million Hectare (50%) for wild harvest collection. Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. During 2016, Sikkim had achieved a remarkable distinction of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 76000 ha) under organic certification.”, the Chairman said.

“India produced around 1.70 million MT (2017-18) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Oil Seeds, Sugar cane, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Medicinal Plants, Tea, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Coffee etc. The production is not limited to the edible sector but also produces organic cotton fiber and functional food products.” he added

“Among different states Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In terms of commodities Oil seeds are the single largest category followed by Sugar crops, Cereals and Millets, Fiber crops, Pulses, Medicinal, Herbal and Aromatic plants and Spices and Condiments.The total volume of export during 2017-18 was 4.58 lakh MT. The organic food export realization was around INR 3453.48 crore (515.44 million USD). Organic products are exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan”, he said

“India exported organic products worth Rs. 30 billion (over $440 million) in 2017-18, from Rs. 24.77 billion in 2016-17. The major demands under the organic product category are for flax seeds, sesame and soybean; pulses such as arhar (red gram), chana (pigeon pea); and rice, along with tea and medicinal plants .European Union member-countries were the biggest buyers of organic products from There is a growing demand from Canada, Taiwan and South Korea in recent years, Germany is one of the biggest importers of Indian organic products. Now, many new countries are also taking interest”, he said.

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