Leverage India's comparative advantage to boost Agri exports

Apex industry chamber, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has recommended that there is an urgent need to leverage India's comparative advantage to boost Agri exports.

"India ranks second world wide in farm output and is the largest producer of major commodities like milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, major spices, select fresh meats, jute, millets and castor oil seed. However, when it comes to presence in international markets, India is 14th in terms of total export value of agri produce. In horticulture, India's contribution to the global trade is only 1 percent," said Rana Kapoor President, ASSOCHAM.

"Indian agriculture possesses many comparative natural advantages. Besides being home to around 11 percent of the world's agricultural land (largest acreage of irrigated land), large land parcels in the country are organic by default. Availability of cheaper, skilled, technical and scientific manpower is another advantage," added Kapoor.

The Chamber recommends the following to leverage India’s comparative advantage:

  • Registering geographical indications (GI) for various agri commodities which have potential value and global demand.

  • Stability in export policy, as demonstrated lately in food grains, can go a long way in boosting industry sentiment and strengthening exports consistently

  • Considering production, productivity levels, domestic and international demand and current status of exports of India, there is immense scope in improving exports of meat and meat preparations, fruits and vegetables (Fresh and Processed) and spices. Sector-centric policies and supporting infrastructure will provide a fillip to exports of these high value commodities.

  • Encouraging private participation in construction and maintenance of pre- and post-harvest infrastructure as well as physical infrastructure like roads and highways.

  • Promote Producer Organizations to enable aggregation of produce and facilitate better remuneration for perishables for small farmers/ producers and lower input costs for processing companies.

ASSOCHAM strongly believes in the need for focusing on all links of the value chain of agri commodities so that India can make its mark in the international market.