The Union cabinet Thursday approved an export policy for agriculture, lifting all restrictions on organic and processed food, to help the government’s efforts to double farmers’ income by 2022.
The ‘Agriculture Export Policy, 2018’ seeks to double farm exports to $60 billion by 2022 from $30 billion last year, and will invest .`1,400 crore to set up specialised clusters in different states for different produce to push exports.
Policy for sensitive farm goods such as onions will be reviewed from time to time.
“The policy will promote organic, ethnic and indigenous products,” commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said while briefing the media about the cabinet decisions. The policy seeks to diversify exports by products and destination and will focus on high value-added farm produce and perishables. At present, rice, wheat and marine products account for about 52% of the total farm exports.
Dedicated clusters could be set up for mangoes, pomegranate, bananas, grapes, tea, coffee, turmeric, and marine products, among others. Prabhu said the government will set up ‘Brand India’ to promote exports and establish as strong quality regime for exports, and states will be extensively involved.
The policy that has strategic and operational elements will also seek to attract private investment into production and processing.