Value addition and diversification are essential to increase export competitiveness and farmers’ income, Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said Thursday.
Addressing the National Conference on Enhancing Export competitiveness of Agriculture Produce, organised by FICCI, Dr Angamuthu said, “To successfully increase agri export we must focus on increasing value addition and develop a strategy for diversification. Our farmers must get better farm income by doubling of exports. This is the right time to increase our productivity and diversify to value addition. We are designing specific strategies to improve organic agriculture and value addition in food items.”
Dr Angamuthu further said that organic farming was the way forward for agriculture in India and the North East leaded by example. “The increasing trend of organic agricultural produce is on the rise and necessary steps must be taken to promote organic farming and improve our organic identity globally. We have a properly designed Agriculture export policy, which has provisions of incentives for exporters, fund to promote agri start-ups and encourage first-time exporters,” he added.
To realise the government’s mission to develop 10,000 farmer producer organisations (FPOs), Dr Angamuthu urged business chambers and corporates to work and develop a greater number of FPOs and agri-export entrepreneurs.
He further mentioned that by serving as a bridge between agriculture and manufacturing and by meeting the basic need of assured supply of healthy and affordable food to all people across the country, the sector had the potential to be a major driver of India’s growth in the coming years.
Highlighting the need to develop a robust agri export strategy, Sanjay Sacheti, Co-Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Country Head & Executive Director, Olam Agro India said, “Considering the sustainable food surplus which India is experiencing, the need of the hour is to aggressively grow our farm exports so that the agriculture sector continues to grow at a fast pace thereby enhancing farmers’ incomes. For this, we need to develop a robust agri export strategy which is market oriented and encourages large scale private sector participation in agricultural exports.”
Stressing on ensuring quality and reliability globally, TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President, TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment) said,”We need to design a brand India for agriculture that will ensure quality and reliability globally. We also need high connectivity both via the sea and air routes to reduce export costs. Improved logistics and strategies to curb losses at pre and post-harvest stage will help generate surplus for exports.”
Emphasising on the need of long-term scalable competitiveness, Nitin Puri, Group President & Global Head, Food & Agribusiness Strategic Advisory & Research, Yes Bank said, “As knowledge partner of the event, I feel that the larger challenge remains how to build larger, longer-term scalable competitiveness rather than opportunistic trade that takes place occasionally.” He mentioned that infrastructure, investment, value addition and enhanced supply chain competitiveness would be the key to double agriculture exports.
Vivek Chandra, CEO – Global Branded Business, LT Foods said, “India’s growth of rice exports is moving up the value chain by creating customised offerings for market on one hand and strengthening backward linkage with farming community on other. End to end management of the agriculture supply and demand chain will unlock the biggest value for India while preserving the resources.”
Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI also shared his perspective on export competitiveness of agriculture in India and mentioned that conducive policy ecosystem would help in realising vision of doubling agricultural exports.