The Cabinet on Thursday approved a policy to boost exports of farm commodities such as tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
The policy was approved at a cabinet meeting and is targeted at helping the country significantly increase exports of an array of farm goods but also seeks to avoid ad hoc, knee-jerk policy decisions often aimed at keeping out food inflation.
The government looks at doubling India's farm exports to $60 billion by 2022 by integrating with "the global value chain at the earliest," Prabhu told a news conference.
The idea behind the policy was to help farmers cash in on export opportunities, he said.
The government has yet to announce full details of the new policy but has said it will include improving infrastructure for farm exports and the government will look to avoid introducing export restraints when food inflation spikes.This is definitely a change in the right direction as the government’s fickle policies on farm trade have angered farmers recently and also hurt India's role as a steady player in the global market.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations, the main body of exporters, said "switch on, switch off" policies had prevented India from emerging as a reliable supplier of farm commodities, even in surplus years.
The National Agriculture Export Policy would also focus on infrastructure improvement and ensure state governments play a bigger role in boosting farm exports, said Prabhu