Hindusthan Samachar
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New opportunity, envisaged for farmers through agriculture export policy

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 10 2019 7:31PM
New opportunity, envisaged for farmers through agriculture export policy
Kolkata,Apr.10 (HS):The West Bengal Government is setting up an organic hub at Rajarhat where participatory farming would be introduced as an arrangement between Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and private entrepreneurs.This was informed here today by A. K. Das, Joint Secretary, Department of Agricultural Marketing, Government of West Bengal,during an interactive session on ''Agriculture Export Policy and its Opportunity Abroad'', organised by the city''s premier Merchants'' Chamber of Commerce and Industry(MCCI). Stating that though the new agriculture export policy was yet to be introduced in the State, Das said it had launched a total of 130 ''Sufal Bangla'' markets where produce would be bought from farmers. Moreover, he said,17 Krishak Bazaars had been integrated with the eNAM portal and the market fee have been exempted for perishables such as fruits and vegetables and semi-perishables such as onion and potato.Das further stated that the state government also identified a number of mango clusters in Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda districts in addition to clusters for potato in Hooghly,East Burdwan and West Midnapore districts. Also speaking on the occasion B. R. Pattanaik, General Manager, NABARD regretted that so far India had no Agriculture Export Policy and it relied on adhoc policies to support farmers. ''The Agriculture Export Policy is a subsidiary policy of the larger policy to double farmers’ income and steps are being taken to integrate Indian agriculture with the world market '', he said adding the quality of Indian produce would improve further following tie ups with foreign buyers. ''For the first time, agriculture officers will now be posted at 15 Indian Embassies,including those in the USA,UK and Kazakhstan to promote Indian exports of agricultural commodities, he informed and stated that exporters of agricultural commodities in the MSME sector would now have access to funds as RBI had made this a priority sector. ''One can be optimistic that the target of USD 60 billion in exports of agricultural produce by 2022 will be met'', Pattanaik informed and said,however, India needed to diversify its food exports from its traditional basket of items.Since, the country holds a large amount of buffer stocks, the public should not be apprehensive that food exports would have a negative impact on the domestic food scenario, he said adding the Agriculture Export Policy also had the potential to benefit 50 per cent of Indian population and make the sector a better prospect for employment. Earlier, welcoming the guests, Santosh K. Roongtaa Chairman, Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food Processing, MCCI, said the country''s first Agriculture Export Policy,was announced in December 2018. ''The Policy envisages to establish a Monitoring Framework at Centre with Department of Commerce as the nodal Department. Total outlay for the implementation of the Policy would be Rs. 1,400 crores, which already exists under different schemes. The Policy is aimed at doubling the agricultural exports from USD 30 Billion at present to USD 60 Billion by 2022 and reach USD 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter'', he said. Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Pramod \
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