New Delhi: India has signed deals with eight countries, namely the United States, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Iran for agricultural exports. It is scouting for still more markets, as it seeks to liberalize trade in farm products and grow its farm exports.
India has also filed market access requests for 35 agricultural products with over a dozen countries, an official familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity. The country has concluded discussions on phytosanitary certification for Indian mangoes with Iran. Similar deals have been signed with Taiwan, which will allow exports of Indian lily bulbs.
Canada has cleared Indian mangoes, grapes, pomegranate, banana, litchi, papaya, custard apple and okra for export. Chile has approved coconut fibre and walnut. South Korea and Malaysia too have agreed to buy Indian mangoes. Ecuador is the latest country to clear Indian rice.
According to hindustantimes.com, the government is looking to moderate its strategy of placing frequent restrictions on agri-exports to tame domestic consumer prices. The plan is to curb commodity exports only in extreme situations and to boost farm income from trade. The government has promised to double farm incomes by 2022.
Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh recently said he hoped to increase the value of agricultural exports to $100 billion by 2022-23. The Dalwai Committee Report on doubling farmers’ incomes also talks about freeing up farm exports.
India’s agricultural exports grew five times from about $8.7 billion in 2004-05 to $42.6 billion during 2013-14. This however fell to $33 billion in 2016-17. The country’s net exports (i.e. exports minus imports or the agricultural trade surplus) fell to $7.8 billion in 2016-17.