From plate to plough: Farm to distant shores
India can be competitive in cereals, pulses and oilseeds trade if policymakers invest in creating value chains. Policies that restrict exports should go
Written by Ashok Gulati , Smriti Verma | Updated: November 6, 2017 5:57 am
In general, both agri-exports and imports have increased substantially since 2004-05.
The new Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has expressed his resolve to expand exports. He has said that increase in agri-exports will not only increase the country’s export basket, but also augment farmers’ incomes and ameliorate farm distress. His objective is laudable and achievable, provided there is a paradigm shift in policy-making from being obsessively consumer-oriented to according greater priority to farmers’ interests. But before elaborating on this, let us compare the trends in agri-trade, both exports and imports, in the period when the UPA was in office (2004-05 to 2013-14) with that of the three-years of the current regime (2013-14 to 2016-17). A close look at these trends and their drivers can help Prabhu and his team identify agri-commodities that can help boost the agri-trade surplus.
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