The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has identified several countries that have the potential of being excellent markets for the promotion of Indian agri-products, Dr Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA said while addressing the virtual release of the ‘FICCI-YES Bank Knowledge Report on Enhancing Competitiveness of Indian Agri Exports. “We are currently handling surplus in supply systems. This supply-side surplus needs to be leveraged in a way so that our farmers and producers get regular income and India gets a competitive advantage in terms of opportunities in the global market,” he added.
Dr Angamuthu opined that the actionable points and challenges mentioned in the FICCI-YES Bank Knowledge Report on Enhancing Competitiveness of Indian Agri Exports would aid in a better understanding and working with all stakeholders of the agricultural ecosystem. “APEDA will facilitate and promote several capacity building programmes in association with FICCI and YES Bank so that the report is percolated at all levels,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ashok Dalwai, CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said that to increase the income of the farmers, we need to connect our farm-gates with distant markets including the global markets. Hence, agri exports must be facilitated through an ecosystem approach. “Any enterprise demands three things- timely service, adherence to quality parameters and cost competitiveness. When it comes to agri exports, if we can focus on these three basic parameters, we would be winning the game,” Dr Dalwai added.
Highlighting the various initiatives of APEDA, Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA mentioned that such initiatives would certainly play a vital role in enhancing the competitiveness of Indian agri exports and help Indian farmers get the benefit of several export opportunities in agriculture.
Sanjay Sacheti, Co-Chair, FICCI National Agriculture Committee and Executive Director, Olam Agro India said, “India needs to very aggressively grow its agri-exports, not only in quantitative terms but also qualitative aspects. We have historically been a commodity exporter but there is a huge opportunity to move up the value chain, enrich the profile of our exports and hence capture value at the higher end of goods and services that we are capable of exporting from here.”
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Vivek Chandra, CEO-Global Branded Business, LT Foods highlighted the importance of branding the products and ensuring quality at every step of the Agri value chain to propel our country’s agricultural exports.
Drawing analogy with the accelerated growth of exports from India’s IT sector riding on the Y2K opportunity, S Sivakumar, COO, ITC Limited, said that the post-Covid world offered a similar inflection point to the agri sector to step up exports of value-added products aligned with the preference of global consumer for food that’s healthy and natural.
Elaborating on the report, YES Bank representative said that a commodity-focused value chain transformation approach was essential to enhance export competitiveness. Highlighting the key recommendations of the report, he mentioned that concerted efforts were required towards tapping small farmers’ potential, building export enabling quality assurance capacities, nurturing an export enabling policy environment, promoting private sector investment, and paving a public-private partnership for driving exports.
TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee and Group President, TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited said, “We need to create a knowledge-sharing at ground level so as to prepare our farmers well and enable them to get the benefit of several export opportunities in agriculture. He also mentioned the importance of traceability and blockchain solutions to enhance the value proposition of Indian agri produce.