Agri Business

Removal of export curbs on non-organic farm products to take time

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on December 09, 2018

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Notification for removal of curbs on organic items to come soon, rest to happen after inter-ministerial consultations

The Centre will come up with the required notification to remove restrictions on export of organic farm products “very soon” but for rest of the agricultural items a decision will be taken after more inter-ministerial consultations, a government official has said.

“Now that the Cabinet has approved the Agriculture Export Policy, the notification for removing restrictions on organic farm products is expected very soon. For the rest, the Commerce Ministry will soon start consultations with other line Ministries including Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Food Processing Industries, to identify items where export restrictions can go and where there is domestic price sensitivity and they need to stay,” the official told BusinessLine.

The Cabinet approved the Agriculture Export Policy on Thursday which aims to double farm exports from $30 billion to $60 billion by 2022 and then reach $100 billion in the next few years.

“Having an agriculture export policy with minimal restrictions on exports is very important to boost the image of India as a stable supplier of farm products. There is a general agreement amongst all Ministries on this issue. So, we expect that implementation of the decision to remove restrictions on exports on most farm products will also be smooth,” the official said.

India has been imposing a number of restrictions on farm exports in the form of ban and minimum export price from time to time.

APMC Act reforms

The Centre will also engage with States to bring about reforms in the APMC Act and for streamlining of mandi tax. “We hope to carry forward the required consultations on APMC Act and mandi tax also soon,” the official said.

The policy, the details of which will be made public after the Cabinet Secretariat gives the nod, also proposes constituting a fund dedicated to organic, value-added, ethnic, GI and branded products for their marketing and promotion.

It also talks about marketing campaigns created for individual fruits and development of a portal to provide e-commerce platform for providing direct export linkage to farmers’ co-operatives, producer societies.

India’s agriculture exports dropped six per cent from $36 billion in 2013 to $31 billion in 2017, which prompted the government to focus in the area.

The policy also seeks to give farm exports an infrastructure and logistics boost by improving infrastructure at the port of exit and address other logistic bottlenecks.

Other areas proposed in the policy include R&D for improved varieties of farm products, value addition and packaging, focus on good standards regimen and a holistic response to standard barriers (SPS/TBT) imposed by importing countries.

Published on December 09, 2018

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