Speaking to ANI, Commerce Ministry officials said the previous highest rating was in 2013-14 at $43 billion, after which exports saw something of a free fall and suffered a decline. of $10 billion in 2016-17, after which the Department of Commerce identified four main reasons for the drop in agricultural exports.
“First, there was a disconnect between production and export of agricultural products. Second, the state government and farmers were unfamiliar with the concept of export-oriented production,” the officials said.
The ministry headed by Piyush Goyal also discovered that states viewed exports as the domain of central government only, as well as the lack of agricultural export infrastructure and expertise with state governments.
The Department of Commerce developed a plan to address these issues and “for the first time reached out not only to the states, but also to district and village farmers.
“Our officials have sensitized and informed the farmers that if there is a surplus of agricultural products, the Indian government will export them as the government wants to help agriculture and its allied sectors as they provide the biggest source of income in India” , officials said. .
Officials said exports in the agricultural sector had increased despite the global COVID-19 pandemic where demand for food had risen globally, but issues with office and road closures were creating huge problems.
“But the Department of Commerce through India’s overseas missions and interacted through virtual buyer-seller meetings, removed many bottlenecks, coordinated with port or customs or state or district authorities, etc., to meet increasing global demand,” the officials said.
Officials said the Commerce Department has also helped states identify respective infrastructure bottlenecks, logistical constraints, post-harvest infrastructure requirements, and more. to remedy.
In addition, steps have been taken to identify new markets, increase the footprint in existing markets, analyze the requirements and pricing structure of new markets, etc. They said that even though the country has reached the $50 billion mark in agricultural exports, the country has yet to reach its full potential in exporting agricultural products.
Thanks to government efforts, in 2021-22, India exported about USD 10 billion worth of rice, with a 50% share of global rice exports; the highest exports ever of seafood ($8 billion), sugar ($4.5 billion), wheat ($2 billion) and coffee ($1 billion); USD 4 billion in meat, dairy and poultry exports, USD 4 billion in spice exports and USD 3 billion in cotton exports.