A Boost for Agri Exports

Reported by: |Updated: February 1, 2021

APEDA and NABARD will work together to synergize the activities in agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders:

There is huge scope for improving agri infrastructure, quality enhancement of the produce, traceability of the products, export from the ‘Tribal Development Project’ areas, and exploring export financing possibilities through NABARD subsidiaries, says Dr G.R. Chintala, Chairman, NABARD. NABARD had recently entered into a MoU with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) with the aim of using their respective expertise and working to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders. Dr. Chintala mentioned that 4500 NABARD-promoted farmer producer organizations (FPOs) will be immensely benefitted by this collaboration.

Dr M. Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, explained that the expertise of APEDA in international market access and marketing promotion, would be a win-win situation for both the organizations. He said NABARD having institutions at ground level, would enable FPOs to reorient their activities towards exporting.

Both Dr Chintala and Dr Angamuthu highlighted the need and advantages of collaboration between the 2 institutions for implementation of agri export policy (AEP). Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA, and Nilay Kapoor, CGM, NABARD, signed the relevant documents.

As a follow-up, communication has already been sent to all the regional offices of NABARD to operationalize the MoU at grass root level by involving FPOs for facilitating Agri exports from identified clusters.

CLEAR BENEFITS SEEN

The joint efforts of NABARD and APEDA would help in capacity development of various stakeholders, in organizing outreach programs, awareness programs and workshops for stakeholders, in working together for doubling farmers’ income, as set out by the Government of India, and in strengthening FPOs for attaining the desired outcomes of agri export policy.

Areas of cooperation will also include extending benefits of relevant schemes/other initiatives of NABARD and APEDA for development of FPOs as well as to jointly identify clusters in various states for scaling up. APEDA will facilitate exports by the FPOs assisted/promoted by NABARD. APEDA would also formulate a program in association with NABARD to provide technical knowhow to cooperatives/FPOs to upscale infrastructure created for post-harvest management for APEDA scheduled products to promote exports.

DEVELOPING CLUSTERS KEY

APEDA has been focusing on a collaborative approach to bring synergy with number of organizations and institutions having inherent professional and specialized expertise in different areas for capacity building of various stakeholders for the development of agriculture and its export enhancement, in consonance with the objectives of AEP. The AEP focuses on farmer centric approach for improved income through value addition at source itself to help minimize losses across the value chain. Policy, therefore, suggests adopting the approach of developing product specific clusters in different agro climatic zones of the country to help in dealing with various supply side issues.

Dr Angamuthu further elaborated on the approach: “Cluster development for potential products and diversification of agri product export baskets are the key to increasing farmers income and exports from the country.”

APEDA has been engaged with state governments for the implementation of AEP. Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Sikkim and Uttarakhand have finalized the state specific action plans. Already, some 20 cluster level committees have been formed in Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Karnataka. The items covered include isabgol, potato, orange, pomegranate, banana, grapes, mango, rose, onion and dairy products. At least 2 rounds of meetings have been conducted in the clusters for sensitization of the stakeholders and discussion on the interventions required.

BRIDGE GAPS IN AGRI EXPORT

As the central government has announced its intention to double agri exports from $30 billion to $60 billion by the year 2022 as part of its agri policy, there is ample scope for collaboration between APEDA and NABARD in promotion of agriculture and allied sectors. NABARD, established as a development bank for providing credit for promotion of agriculture, small scale, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other allied activities in rural areas, has various schemes and programs to assist farmers.

Narrating his experience of successful collaboration with APEDA, P.V.S. Suryakumar, Deputy Managing Director, NABARD pointed out that even now there exists a grey area in agri exports and hoped this collaboration would be a game changer and it would help to bridge the existing gaps between production, marketing and exports of agri commodities.

[email protected]