A panel under the 15th Finance Commission (FC) proposed a state government-led export plan to boost agricultural exports that would involve investments of $10 billion, said a release on Friday.
The plan focused on 22 crops that would add value to the international value chain, and would follow a demand-driven approach with anchoring investments from the private sector, while the government played an enabling role.
The funding for inputs, infrastructure and processing could come from a convergence of existing government schemes, allocations by the FC and private investment, according to the report by the FC’s High Level Group on agricultural exports.
The private sector would bring in a focus on value addition to agriculture while ensuring projects are feasible, according to the group. It would also result in increased funds for technology in the sector and bring in urgency and discipline in project implementation, the release said.
Members of the group included Sanjiv Puri, chairman of ITC, Radha Singh, former agriculture secretary, Manoj Joshi, representing the ministry of food processing industries, Diwakar Nath Misra, chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Others included Paban Kumar Borthakur, former chairman of APEDA, Suresh Narayanan, chairman of Nestle India, Jai Shroff, CEO of United Phosphorus Ltd, Sanjay Sacheti, country head, Olam Agro India and Sachin Chaturvedi, director general of Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
According to the group, India’s agricultural exports could grow for $40 billion now to $70 billion in a few years. The proposed plan could result in 10 million additional agriculture sector jobs and increased farm productivity and farmer income, the release said.