Agri Business

Agri exporters call for early action against lockdown disruptions

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 14, 2020 Published on April 14, 2020

During meet with Ministry officials, industry seeks permission to re-start operations

Exporters of agri commodities on Tuesday said labour shortage, closure of mandis, bottlenecks in inter-State transport and difficulties in getting phyto-sanitary certification are hampering their operations.

Besides all these, closure of courier services which affects movement of shipping documents, availability of freight services, and access to ports/yards are other issues faced by them, exporters and representatives of associations of producers and exporters told Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal during a video conference.

The interaction was organised to get the first-hand account of problems being faced by exporters of agri and allied commodities so that the Ministry can initiate necessary steps to redress their grievances and allow them sustain operations even during the current Covid-19 crisis. Exporters of commodities like fruits, vegetables, basmati and non-basmati rice, seeds, flowers, organic produce and agricultural equipment and machinery participating in the remote interaction.

The representatives of industries relating to food processing, spices, cashew nuts and machine and equipment sectors requested the government for permission to open and operate at least at 25-30 per cent strength. They promised to abide by all health advisories issued from time to time.

Ministry assurance

Agarwal said the issue of internal transport is being addressed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and necessary directives are being issued. Similarly, instructions have been given for continuous/regular issuance of phyto-sanitary certificates and acceptance of online certificates.

He also promised to take up the issues pertaining to ports, ocean freight services, and courier services for necessary resolution. Besides, the request of the industry to open for functioning and other sector-specific issues will be brought to the notice of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and resolved appropriately, he assured.

India is a net exporter of agricultural and allied commodities. India’s agricultural and allied exports during 2018-19 were ₹2.73 lakh crore and this sector has always been positive in balance of trade. Exports are very important, as besides earning precious foreign exchange for the country, they help farmers/producers/exporters to take advantage of the wider international market and increase their income.

Published on April 14, 2020

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