NEW DELHI: With an eye on doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the Commerce Ministry has identified 50 districts across the country that will be developed as exports clusters for various agriculture produces in consultation with the respective states.“As a part of the draft Agriculture Exports Policy 2018, we have identified 50 unique product-district clusters for export promotion. We are in touch with various state governments, who will help us to set infrastructure in these districts. Not only will it help in increasing farmers’ income by boosting exports, but also help in reducing the post-harvest loss,” a senior official of the Commerce Ministry said.
For instance, Kadapa and Anantapur districts in Andhra Pradesh and Trichy in Tamil Nadu have been identified for banana exports, while Belgaum and Mysuru in Karnataka will be developed for pomegranates. Similarly, Lucknow and Saharanpur districts in Uttar Pradesh and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra will be developed as mango export clusters. Srinagar (J&K) and Kinnaur (Himachal) will be developed as apple clusters and Nagpur as an orange cluster.
The ministry, however, added that the list is tentative and will be fine-tuned after consultation with the respective state governments.The Commerce Ministry will work closely with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Marine Products Exports Development Authority, Export Inspection Council India and other commodity boards, who will provide framework for the exports model starting from farmers’ registration, FPO formation and monitoring the quality of produce, its marketing and packaging.
“We will also organise training for the farmers on the use of pesticides and agriculture methods, so that the products are at par with the global quality standards, which will reduce the instances of rejections,” the official said.
These agencies will also help in pricing of the products, so that farmers get maximum benefit out of it.
“The implementation would require full involvement of state agriculture and horticulture departments, state agricultural universities, ICAR institutions and food processing departments,” the official added.