India’s agricultural exports jump in Covid times


NEW DELHI: India agricultural exports have been booming the past six months, while many sectors of the economy suffered because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Export of essential agricultural commodities in the first six months of the current fiscal rose 43.4% to Rs 53,626.6 crore from Rs 37,397.3 crore in the same period last year.

“Major commodity groups which have recorded jump in exports are non basmati rice, 105%, basmati rice 13%, ground nut 35%, refined sugar 104% and wheat 206%,” said an official.

The official said that the balance of trade in April-September 2020 has been positive at Rs 9,002 crore as against trade deficit of Rs. 2,133 during the same period in 2019.

“On-month-to-month basis, export of essential agricultural commodities during September, 2020 has seen a jump of 81.7% in September at Rs 9,296 crore as against export of Rs 5,114 crore in 2019,” he said.

The jump in export is an outcome of the new agriculture export policy, which was launched in 2018.

“The government cluster based approach for export-centric farming of cash crops like fruits, vegetables and spices where clusters for specific agri products are identified across the country and focused interventions are carried out in these clusters,” the official said.

Apart from that, the government has also set up eight Export Promotion Forums (EPF) under APEDA to boost export of agriculture and horticulture products.

“The EPFs are created on banana, grapes, mango, pomegranate, onion, dairy, basmati and non basmati rice. These EPFs reach out to stakeholders across the entire production and supply chain of export for increasing these exports significantly to the global market, through various interventions,” the official said.

Recently, the government has also announced Agri Infra Fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve agri business environment which is also likely to promote agri export.

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