India can be among top-5 agri goods exporters with effective policies!

By shifting its focus on cultivation and farmers, the country can be among the top-five exporters of agro commodities, according to a report by the World Trade Centre. The report comes at a time when the government has announced some reforms in the farm sector by allowing farmers to sell produce outside the regulated APMC markets, and relaxing the Essential Commodities Act, among others, which can help boost exports.

With an annual agro exports of USD 39 billion in 2019, the country is ranked eighth, after the EU (USD 181 billion), the US (USD 172 billion), Brazil (USD 93 billion), China (USD 83 billion), Canada (USD 69 billion), Indonesia (USD 46 billion) and Thailand (USD 44 billion), the WTC report said quoting the 2019 WTO data.

To attain this, as a first step, the study said, the government should re-orient the role of its extension centres - the 715 krishi vigyan kendras across the country - to handhold farmers in growing those varieties of crops that have demand in the global markets.

The report added that it is time we move towards growing quality food for the global markets rather than quantity.

One key focus area could be cultivating horticulture crops that conform to the quality, colour, shape and chemical contents acceptable in foreign countries or which are fit for further processing

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