India is the world’s largest creator of milk, the largest producer and seller of spices, the second largest producer of food grain, fruits and veggies and wheat. It is the world’s 10 th largest agricultural exporter. But behind these figures lies an inconvenient reality: India’s agricultural exportation basket forms up for only 2.15% of the world’s agricultural transaction, says the Economic Survey 2020 -2 1. This despite the share of agriculture in the country’s GDP growing to 20% for the first time in 17 years, in agreement with the Economic Survey: services sector is 54% and producing and relevant sectors is 26 %. What this means is that while we are exporting a lot, we are nowhere near fulfilling our potential in agricultural exports. Take a look at these lists: The European Union, with a share of 35.9%, surpassed the listing of agri traders in 2019, said the World Trade Statistical Review 2020. The second slit went to extra-EU — countries of the region outside the bloc — with a share of 12.6%. The respite of the list had the US( 9.3% ), Brazil( 5 %), China( 4.6% ), Canada( 3.7% ), Thailand( 2.4% ), Indonesia( 2.4% ), Argentina( 2.2%) and India( 2.15% ). This shows that despite India’s stellar conduct in this segment, it still has a lot of ground to cover. Many of these exporting ends are not endowed with the geographic advantages that India enjoys. Hitherto, they stay ahead by leveraging manufacture best practices and producing high-yield agri products.To be fair, India’s agri sector has adopted rapid metamorphosis in recent times. In 2020 -2 1, exports of agriculture and allied products jump-start to $41.25 billion, an increase of 17.34%, said Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce, in June. According to an official statement, India has been able to take advantage of an increased demand for staples after the pandemic began. There was a huge growth in the export of cereals: non-basmati rice grew by 136.04% to $4,795 million; wheat by 774% to $549 million, and other cereals such as millets, maize and other coarse amplifications by 238% to $694 million. Exports of all-important agricultural products too rose 38% in April 2020 -January 2021. The country also continued to achieve a record export of over 44.3% in agricultural and processed food products in April-June 2021 -2 2. 8657410 7Why, then, are we struggling to corner a larger share of world agri sell? For that to happen, say professionals, it would be appropriate to form some structural changes in our farm system.M Angamuthu, Chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Produce Export Development Authority( APEDA ), says get ranked amongst the top 10 agricultural exporting countries is a big feat. But that is not enough. “We need both exportable and high-yielding mixtures of crops. Our thrust is also on value additions now. We need to increase automation in menu processing to brought under economies of magnitude. Only then will we become cost effective and be able to expand our trade share in the global marketplace. For increasing work, the work requires economies of scale.”Queries sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare did not receive any response.Sustained PerformanceThe Economic Survey 2020 -2 1 said since the economic reforms began in 1991, India has remained a cyberspace exporter of agri commodities, and the numbers touched Rs 2.52 lakh crore in 2019 -2 0. Despite Covid dislocations, there was export growth in 2020 -2 1 in lubricant dinners( 90% ), sugar( 42% ), raw cotton( 79% ), fresh vegetables( 11%) and vegetable oils( 254% ). The brightest gems in the export crown are basmati and non-basmati rice exportations. The country displayed 7.5 million tonnes of basmati and exported 61% of that in 2019 -2 0, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In 2020 -2 1, India exported 13 million tonnes of non-basmati rice and 4.6 million tonnes of basmati rice. 8657413 0This not only a record in both these categories alone but likewise a record for any country to have exported such magnitudes, says Vinod Kumaar Kaul, Executive Director, All India Rice Exporters Association( AIREA ). He is upbeat that India could soon corner almost half of the global rice craft. However, Kaul says supply chain issues could restriction the swelling. Container shortage and rising ocean freight have hurt transaction as export of basmati rice in April-July 2021 came 15% from the year-ago period, he says. But there was a 74% growing in non-basmati rice. A major reason for this was that India shipped non-basmati rice to various countries for the first time and increased the shipment to some other geographies — another indication that the country is moving in the right direction. “We hope that the government’s decision to extend the RoDTEP( tariff refund programme) to rice value will also have a positive impact, ” Kaul says.The export-incentive programmes need to be more liberal, insist industry officials. Elluru Narayan Rao, Managing Partner of logistics and shipping company Vision Global, says buyers used to get 10% exportation motivation in onions, but not anymore. “What will my patron do? He will go to a cheaper alternative, ” he says. Structural BottlenecksThe primary reason agri exportations have not grown more is poor infrastructure in handling, freight, sell and processing, say experts. Most Indian farmers belong to the small or marginal category — around 85% of the total farmers, in agreement with the Economic Survey 2020 -2 1 — with 1 or 2 hectares. They use traditional agriculture techniques, often yielding yield suitable merely for the domestic market. They likewise have low-pitched spending faculty, so infrastructure and warehousing expenditures are out of their contact. Freight frequencies, poverty-stricken cold storage equipment and inadequate post-harvest management compound their woes. 8657415 1Indian agriculture is the home of small-time and negligible farmers, says Priyanka Mittal, Director, KRBL Limited, the world’s largest Basmati exporting firm. Therefore, the future of sustainable agriculture growth and food security in India depends on their performance. Mittal says big nurses too induce them face new challenges in integrating with value series, liberalisation and globalisation, grocery volatility, change of climate change and so on. They can proliferate high-yield potpourruss and do considerably better if they get adequate support.Farmers, extremely the smallest ones, also face a possible menace from a new front now: corporate groups.“When a company goes into the agri sector and get involved in contract cultivate, farmers, communications, distributors and other people in the equip bond cannot make any money. The revenue perimeter will go down drastically for farmers, ” says a Meerut-based negligible farmer, on the condition of anonymity. “SME aur marginal farmers 50 paise pe khelta hai, aur bade musician Rs 5 pe.”That is why, he said, there is farmers’ resentment in one form or the other across the country. Many don’t get enough to even cover farming penalties. “They kill themselves due to the burden of the debts taken to time develop cultivates to feed their own family, ” he supplements. Addressing Supply Chain NigglesA holistic view be concentrated on the “whole of the give chain” and greater integration with global quality orders can help these small farmers. India does not have world-wide trade-focussed furnish orders to move merchandises in volume and respective capabilities to handle quick turnaround of big sea carriers at ports. Other issues is the absence of large quantities of homogeneous character of agri products, a standard requirement for global trade.Unupom Kausik, the President of National Commodities Management Business Limited( NCML ), the country’s largest and integrated post-harvest solution provider, says these “serious” concerns have been a barrier to world-wide outreach for Indian agro farmers. Volatility in government policies draws world-wide buyers shy to accept India as a reliable long-term informant of stock origination place, he claims.To deal with these issues, Kausik says the government should come up with a concerted policy, involving stakeholders such as trade torsoes, commerce organisations, certification enterprises, multimodal logistics “providers “, port and rail infra service providers, inland shipped terminals and government policy forms for agricultural purposes, trade, and commerce, railway and port infrastructure. 8657420 2Another issue is that we have restraint Indian agri exports to a few cases stocks. This is because apart from access to cold storage facilities and adequate post-harvest management, farmers have also been struggling with poor logistics infrastructure and sub-standard quality of products. Then there is the issue of limited geographies. Varun Khanna, Founder and CEO of Crofarm, a give chain firm focussed on supporting farmers, says, “For example, unlike the bananas produced in Ecuador or Indonesia, Indian bananas cannot be accumulated and transported to a destination with a transit term of over 13 -1 4 daytimes. So banana sells are limited to West Asian countries.” Logistics challenges also make it difficult to export bananas from any district far from launched ports. The expenditure compiles it uncompetitive.Vision Global’s Rao says freight costs have become a big pain point, especially for the smaller musicians. “Only musicians having a vast connection — like a consortium of 2,000 -5, 000 farmers in their kitty, and having logistics magnitudes of over 10,000 receptacles a year — can avail good merchandise costs and good boundary. For the small and marginal SME farmers, freight charges portion now is almost equal to the cost of one container of the commodity being exported, ” Rao adds.Naturally, few would want to export agri goods then.Countering Non-Tariff MeasuresEven if India manages to overcome all these drawbacks, it would have to scale export railings before participating a country.Foreign governments often cite health risks for citizens and enforce strict standards as a assemble of protectionism, many under the guise of non-tariff quantities( NTMs ). Bypassing these obstacles has become a challenge for Indian exporters, particularly for SMEs.Mittal says our nutrient exports are mostly grains, and in this product, the country’s reputation for quality has been unfairly and incorrectly undermined by others for their own national agendas. “The most peril and insidious are the artificial obstructions and the undermining of competitive advantage, ” she says. “Global trade is interpret new hindrances in various forms: for example, origin-specific tenders. These lock out other contestants who may offer better and more competitive goods. Arbitrary standards of phytosanitary status and pesticides blockages are other artificial impediments.” 8657426 2A common topic with NTMs is the lack of information about export requirements. Ashwin Ram Raupathi, Partner at Madurai-based Nadar Spices, says as countries start adhering to stricter food safety norms based on a Food and Agriculture Organization-led initiative, there is often little information on the expected safety standards, specifically for individual agricultural commodities. It is often traders who get caught in this jam. “With this ambiguity, the enter impediment into high-quality sells remained high and the risk of our goods being rejected at a port of entry is also higher, ” says Raupathi.He uses the example of Indian green cardamom to explain the situation. Saudi Arabia, the largest importer of the spice, limited its entry from April 2018 though a directory of acceptable substance residues, which was, nonetheless, finalised simply by mid-2 020. While countries is likely to be larger market discussions and resolutions for high-value and essential commodities, most agri stocks lost touch in this tussle.Raupathi says the farming community has no choice but to be on a par with international standards. “India has been exporting Indian green coffee to the European market for decades. Hence, chocolate farmers and manor owners are acquainted to the EU market’s food safety norms, which is one of the strictest in the world. This should be the case with every agri merchandise product from India.”APEDA Chairman Angamuthu says India now strongly races NTMs. “We now have a very proactive mechanism. The department concerned is very active in such cases. We are such a huge market and these nations likewise have to come to our marketplace, so these issues can work out in our prefer, ” he adds.This grocery heft is what India should use to punch through the problems it is facing in the agri export sphere. The segment once has a solid footing to become a food bowl of the world .( Edited by Ram Mohan. Illustrations by Mohammad Arshad)

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