Export of essential agri commodities for April-September, 2020 period has increased 43.4 per cent to Rs 53,626.6 crore vis-à-vis Rs 37,397.3 crore for the year-ago period, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said in a statement on Saturday. Groundnut with 35 per cent growth, refined sugar seeing 104 per cent growth, wheat with 206 per cent growth, basmati rice’s 13 per cent rise, non-basmati rice witnessing 105 per cent growth etc. were major commodity groups with positive export growth during the said period from last year. Moreover, the balance of trade during the April-September 2020 period has been “significantly positive at Rs 9,002 crore as against trade deficit of Rs 2,133 during the same period in 2019,” the ministry added.
India’s month-on-month agricultural export of essential agricultural commodities during September 2020 was Rs 9296 crore against Rs 5114 crore worth exports during September 2019 — increase 81.7 per cent. The ministry noted that government had announced Agriculture Export Policy in 2018 to boost agri exports “which inter-alia provides for a cluster-based approach for export-centric farming of cash crops like fruits, vegetables, spices, etc. whereby clusters for specific agri products are identified across the country and focused interventions are carried out in these clusters.” The government had recently announced Agri Infra Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore to improve agribusiness scenario in India.
Meanwhile, the government has asserted that the three farm bills passed recently, which farmers have been opposing fearing large companies getting control of the pricing of products, will change the fortune of agriculture. Union minister had last week said that the “there are many myths regarding the agricultural reforms that are being propagated, but they are far away from reality. Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) are there and will remain in future also, so will be the system of the Minimum Support Price(MSP).” He added that it will be ensured that the ownership will remain with the farmer under contract farming while the contract will only be regarding the crops.