Industry needs to work on areas like exploring new markets, increasing value addition and using new technologies to boost agriculture exports, a top official today said. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia also asked exporters of organic goods to certify their products as it helps increase competitiveness in the global markets. India’s agri exports stood at $34 billion in 2016-17 and huge potential exists to increase the numbers. “We need to work on exploring new markets and deepen penetration of agri products. We also need to increase value addition as currently we are doing low or no value addition,” she said here at an APEDA award function. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the commerce ministry, works on promoting agri exports.
“We need to emphasise on value addition in India. It is a matter of concern when we see that agri products out of India actually go to other countries for even primary processing or value addition. We need to work together for value addition,” Teaotia said. Technology upgradation is the other area where special focus is required as very few units are investing in R&D and working on traceability aspects, she said. “It will help in entering into new markets,” she said, adding, “we need to invite global buyers in India and show them the entire value chain like quality aspects”.
Inviting foreign buyers would also expose domestic exporters to new export destinations. Talking about the quality of agri products, Teaotia said system of traceability and origin of commodities are becoming important to export products in markets like Europe and the US. “Our value chains are fragmented. It require lot of work and we also have to fix accountability.” On export of organic produce, Teaotia said it is important for domestic players to look at certification as certified goods get higher value.
In 2015, the total agri exports in the world was aggregated at $1.75 trillion and India is the seventh largest exporter in this field. Its main export destinations are Vietnam, UAE, the US, Korea, Iran, Iraq and Nepal. APEDA’s export basket include pickles, rice, honey, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, beverages, guar gum, poultry, livestock products, flowers, food grains and aromatic plants.