01 Feb 2018 13:05 IST

Govt to take steps to promote agri commodity exports: FM

The country’s agricultural exports are around $30 billion at present

The government will take steps to boost exports of agriculture commodities which have the potential of reaching $100 billion, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

The country’s agricultural exports are around $30 billion at present.

“India’s agri exports potential is as high as $100 billion against a current export of $30 billion. To realise this potential, export of agri commodities will be liberalised,” Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 in the Lok Sabha.

He also proposed to set up state-of-the-art facility in 42 mega food parks.

The announcement assumes significance as the commerce ministry is working on a comprehensive policy covering issues such as logistics to promote export of agri commodities like tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables.

India is one of biggest producers and exporters of agri commodities.

Elements which could become part of the policy include certification and traceability of items. Besides, the ministry is also in the process of identifying countries where there is a maximum import demand for agri goods.

Agri-products account for over 10 per cent of the country’s total exports.

India mainly exports tea, coffee, rice, cereals, tobacco, spices, cashew, oil meals, fruits and vegetables and marine products.

In December 2017, out of 13 agri commodities being tracked by the commerce ministry, five categories -- other cereals, cashew, oil meals, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables -- reported negative export growth.