India is one of the fastest developing economies of the world. With over 15 % share in GDP contribution of agriculture and allied sector remain quiet higher than world average (6.4%). India stands second in global agricultural production and is a leading exporter of several agricultural commodities. India ranks amongst top ten exporters of agricultural product in the world. The top exports comprise of sugar, beef, rice and shrimp. Indian agricultural exports grew at 9% compared to China (8%), Brazil (5.4%) and US (5.1%) between 2007 and 2016. During this period, exports of coffee, cereals, horticultural produce doubled; while exports of meat, fish, processed products grew between three to five times.
However, India has remained at the lower end of the global agri export value chain given that majority of its exports are low value, raw or semi-processed and marketed in bulk. The share of India's high value and value added agri produce in its agri export basket is less than 15% compared to 25% in US and 49% in China. India is unable to export its vast horticultural produce due to lack of uniformity in quality, standardization and its inability to curtail losses across the value chain. These factored in, India can further expand its horizons ushering in more products into the export category.
Agri exports from the country have been residual in nature i.e. quantity left after meeting domestic demands, though to strengthen India's position in international trade it is necessary to shift to targeted export, targets being fixed considering international demand and competitive advantage. India has high export potential for Shrimps, Meat, Rice, Grapes, Bananas, Pomegranate, vegetables, Processed / Value added products, Cashew, Plant parts/medicinal herbs, food based nutraceuticals, aromatics, spices, organic food. Though to translate this potential into reality requires a strategic plan and public private sector will have to work together to boost agri-exports from the country. In this direction, government has already come up with new agri-export policy to create pro export environment in the country.
Indian Council of Food and Agriculture takes the opportunity to discuss the various bottlenecks in improving agri-export and strategies to address these challenges in order to create a supportive environment for industry to strengthen Indian agricultural exports in international trade by bringing together eminent personalities of Indian and global agriculture on one platform. With this objective, ICFA in association with APEDA is organizing National conference on Boosting Agri Export. The Conference will lay special emphasis on various components of agri export policy 2018 and collaborative approach necessary to promote exports. Understanding the fact that agriculture in India changes at every few kilometres due to large agri biodiversity and majority of farmers are small and marginal, the conference will focus on creation of product specific clusters to build capacity of small farmers and ensuring standards and quality for exports through certication.