India ranks second globally in agricultural production at USD 367 bn. The country needs to push its agricultural exports in order to double the farmers' income.
The country needs to push its agricultural exports to USD 120 billion by 2022 from the present USD 36 billion in order to double farmer's income, according to industry experts.
"India ranks second globally in agricultural production at USD 367 bn. We need to leverage our strength as a large importer of non-agricultural merchandise to push agricultural exports from the present USD 32 bn to over USD 120 billion in order to help double farmer's income," said Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) president Rajju Shroff.
"We have urged the government to increase focus on trebling India's share in agriculture exports to double farmers income by 2022. Today India ranks second in agricultural production in the world but eighth in agricultural exports. We lag behind Thailand and Indonesia and this must change," Shroff, who is also MD of United Phosphorus, told reporters.
We have appealed to the agriculture ministry, commerce ministry and institutions like APEDA, NITI Aayog over the past few months to arrest the steady decline in India's agriculture exports and the sharp increase in imports.
Domestic agricultural commodities face stiff non-tariff barriers in many developed countries that either refuse or restrict our agriculture exports, he added.
He wrote off farm loans and increasing Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as not sustainable.
"We urgently need to create a single authority to monitor agricultural exports and imports keeping a hawk eye on both. Currently, we have multiple authorities with poor co-ordination and dismal results," he added.
Shroff pointed out that foreign-funded environmental activists pose the single biggest threat to the progress of Indian agriculture.A spurt in Indian agri-exports can boost rural employment, income and purchasing power. It will spruce up allied activities in storage, transportation and processing.