Modi’s Farm Export Goal is Difficult, but Attainable: Agri Economist

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is facing an intimidating task to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious goal of increasing farm exports to dollar 60 billion by 2022.

As per the Commerce Ministry data, India’s export of agriculture and related products was 16 percent lesser in 2017-18 as compared with the peak of dollar 32.95 attained in 2013-14. The ambitious goal seems more difficult with the exports increasing at a slight 1.19 percent in the first 7 months of the current financial year.

Agriculture economist Ashok Vishandass says “It’s difficult, but achievable adding that we are very cutthroat in rice, fruits and vegetables, meat and milk products”. Vishandass was the chief technical advisor of United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation in Delhi.

Experts also believe that country’s agriculture exports will have to increase at a compounded yearly growth rate of 25 percent over the next 3 years to attain the goal of doubling farm export by 2022, which will further help in doubling farmers’ income.

Vishandass said as the incomes are increasing all over the world, people are moving away from vegan diet to more nourishing meat-based diet. Hence this is the need gap that India can use.

As per the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) statistics, global agricultural trade has increased at an average rate of 6 percent/ year from 2000 – 2016. Also total global trade of farm products trebled from dollar 570 billion to dollar 1.6 trillion in this period.

Regarding the central role played by Commerce Ministry, Vishandass said, “Government policies can dramatically boost or reduce the export of agro products.”

Moreover, the target to double farmer’s income by 2022 needs a constant compound growth rate of 15 percent over the next 5 years whereas aim to double  farm export requires persistent compound growth rate of 25  percent every year.

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