India has tremendous potential of agriculture export worldwide which will have an impact on the rural economy. As the Government of India aims to double the farmer’s income and give a boost to the agrarian economy, promoting agriculture export is significant. Hence doubling agriculture is one of the key policies of the Modi government. In this context as of now various initiative that have been taken are as follows.
Independent India’s First Comprehensive Agriculture Export Policy: India is a major player in agricultural produce and exports. Export policies promote trade activities. Sadly, there were no agri export policies till the recent times. It shows that agricultural export was accidental. India’s world agri export share is only 2%. Now for the first time after independence, Modi Government has announced the first comprehensive agriculture export policy. This policy has been drafted with a vision to double the farmers’income and increase exports to 60 billion by 2022. In order to double farmers income, it is imperative to boost export significantly. Hence, this policy is a welcoming step in Indian agricultural economy. It is focused on doubling the farmers’income, making competitive the export prices and creation of a strong crop value chain. It is a major shift form production-income mindset to post production activities.
Ease of Doing Agri business Index: Agriculture and allied sectors are continuously playing important role in Indian economy. India is heavily based and dependent on agriculture for self-consumption and export of agri-produce. However, income generation form agriculture and allied sector are low as compared to other sectors. Lack of agri-business development is the main reasons behind it. Agri- business has the potential to change the game as it plays an important role in the eradication of poverty and pull rural livelihoods upwords.
Ease of Doing Agribusiness Index it is a national index to rank States based on ease of doing agribusinesses. It is a mechanism by which states can be compared using a set of parameters on the grounds of agribusiness development. It is an effort to develop an interpersonal ecosystem in agribusinesses sector in respective States, It will develop healthy competition between the states to create a healthy environment for agribusinesses that will encourage more investment, innovations skills, intellectual property safeguards, etc. Optimum utilization of agricultural resources is thus, possible that will have an impact on farmers income as well as on rural economy.
Transport and Marketing Assistance Scheme (TMA): Boosting agriculture export is a necessity for doubling farmer’s income. In this setting, Modi government introduced a new scheme for agriculture export i.e. Transport and Marketing Assistance Scheme (TMA). Under this scheme, financial assistance will be available for transport and marketing of agriculture produce to boost export of agricultural commodities in West Africa, EU, Gulf, North America, ASEAN, Russia & CIS, Far East, Oceana, China, South America. This scheme, reimburse a certain portion of freight charges and it covers freight and marketing assistance for export by air as well as by sea.
The scope of export for agriculture product from India is very high. India is an agricultural economy and thus has abundant agro products and resources. On the other hand, countries like the US, Canada and Europe imports agro products on a large scale from India, and other Asian countries. Since export destinations are far, hence transportation cost is always making an impact on product costing and ultimately on product competitiveness. Hence, there will be a positive impact of Transport and Marketing Assistance Scheme (TMA) on Indian farm produce, such as Insian agricultural goods will be available in foreign markets, reduce transportation cost of agriculture products, stimulate Indian farm exports, and help to meet India’s agri export potential, enable farmers to get the best possible returns, help in brand recognition of Indian product in the world market, expansion of agri trade export basket. TMA would mitigate the hindrance of higher cost of transportation of export of identified agriculture products due to transhipment and help promote brand for Indian agricultural products in the quantified foreign markets.
Agriculture Export Cluster: Doubling agricultural export and farmers income is one of the major agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government. In his speech on Independence day, he spoke on mentioned of formation of export clusters in each and every district of India. In order to achieve the objectives of the ambitious agriculture export policy, we need various export promotion strategies. Among those strategies, establishment of export clusters is of prime focus. Every district has some agricultural produce which can be exported with the help of export clusters. It will enhance the involvement of small and marginal farmers in the export bracket. Through export clusters, they can export their produce and will get good price for it.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme: Indian economy is based on agriculture and more than ten crore families depend solely on farming. Hence it is important to understand the impact of budget on agriculture and allied sectors. This year’s financial budget has clear focus on agriculture and allied sectors. It aims to benefit farmers with schemes and subsidies and this will boost the morale of the entire farming sector. Government of India announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme under which they have made provisions of Rs 75000 crores for financial year 2019-20. Small and marginal farmers holding 2 hectors land or less, will receive Rs.6000 per year in 3 instalments. It will provide guaranteed income support of Rs. 500 to needy farmers. This structural financial arrangement for farmers is an advancing step in getting farming sector in an organised form. Farmers could use this additional income for insurance, health, education, storage and agricultural inputs, etc. Indeed it is important to empower small and marginal farmers financially.
Doubling farmer’s income is the need of the hour as rural households are dependent on agriculture and allied activities. Inclusive development of rural India is not possible without true empowerment of farmers. Price fluctuations, low income and livelihood dependency are the main causes of agrarian crises, and increase in farmers’ income could help solve agrarian crises to a large extent. Farmer’s welfare is possible only when there is sharp rise in their income. Hence involvement of small and marginal farmers in agricultural export is significant. They can earn more by linking their product with international market.
(The Writer is a Social Scientist. The views expressed are personal)