Govt working on new agri export policy to boost farmer's income: Suresh Prabhu

The centre is working on a new Agriculture Export Policy as part of its efforts to double farmers’ income, minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation Suresh Prabhu said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The government, he said, is preparing agro specific zones under the new Agriculture Export Policy which will be unveiled soon. 
The minister was speaking at the inauguration of ‘Biofach India’, which is the world’s largest event on organic industry. The event is jointly organised by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. 
India produces nearly 600 million tonnes of agri products, including horticultural produce, but most of it is wasted at present. He said the strategy is to increase farmer’s income by doubling it and reducing wastage of food products to the bare minimum. Alongside, the government is also focusing on exporting agricultural products. 
The ideal way to boost farm exports, Prabhu said, is to cater to the niche market of organic food.
India is bestowed with the potential to produce all varieties of organic produce due to the country’s varied agro climatic regions. India also has the added advantage of inheriting a tradition of organic farming. It is a great advantage for organic producers to tap the market, which is growing steadily in both domestic and export markets.
India ranks first in terms of total number of organic producers and 9th in terms of worlds organic agricultural land. The government, he said, has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) which is certified by the European Commission and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Due to these certifications India’s organic products are accepted by importing countries.
In 2017-18 India produced around 1.70 million tonnes of certified organic products, which includes all varieties of food products like oilseeds, sugarcane, cereals and millets, cotton, pulses, medicinal plants, tea, fruits, spices, dry fruits, vegetables and coffee.
Total volume of organic exports during 2017-18 was 4.58 lakh tonnes and brought in $515.44 million.
India’s organic products are exported to the USA, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan.
Buyers from 15 countries are participating in the3-day event being held from 25 to 27 October 2018 in New Delhi. This event showcases products like organic aqua culture, cashew, coconuts, tea and cocoa and oil seeds. Buyer-seller meets and an international conference are also being held alongside the main event.