Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, held an interaction with Farmer Producers’ Organizations (FPOs) through video link in 81 locations of the country in New Delhi yesterday. Around twelve locations from the North East were part of this interaction with the Minister. Commerce Minster discussed with the FPOs about measures that may be implemented by them in order to boost exports of products from specific regions of the states. In order to implement the Agriculture Export Policy 40 clustershave been formedacross the country and through NABARD, APEDA, MPEDA and Plantation Boards farmer’s organizations will be given all assistance in order to ensure that farmers get adequate market price and are able to export their produce.
Commerce Minister suggested that FPOs must form federations which can become engines of growth in the districts. Minister informed that he is writing to all FPOs to take the lead and ensure that the object of the Agriculture Export Policy of doubling farmers income is implemented.
While interacting with FPOs Minister heard problems faced by farmers in areas like Nasik in Maharashtra, Idduki in Kerala, Rayagada in Odisha, Dahod in Gujarat, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim and FPOs from Himachal Pradesh. Most of them face difficulty in accessing value chains and suffer from lack of access to markets. Commerce Minister assured all FPOs that he will look into each of their problems and ensure that these are solved at the earliest.
The agri export policy is aligned with the vision of doubling of farmers’ income by providing the farmers the benefit of export opportunities through a stable trade policy regime. The policy gives focus on developing clusters with potential for export-oriented production of specific products and greater thrust on value added products, promotion and branding of produce of India. The main aim of the policy is to double agriculture exports to USD 60 billion by 2022. Several initiatives have been taken to boost agricultural exports which include lifting of prohibition on export of Edible Oils and Pulses and provision of MEIS on a number of agricultural products.