Government prioritises processed food exports as restrictions on raw items increase in frequency

The government will continue promoting the export of processed food products in place of raw agriculture commodities, said Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal while highlighting that the share of processed foods in the agri export basket has increased to 27 per cent from 14 per cent in the past decade.

After visiting stalls at the ongoing World Food India 2023 exhibition in Delhi, Barthwal said that over 1,000 buyers from abroad have come from 80 countries, including about 135 from the Middle East, at the invitation of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda), Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda), Spice Board, Tea Board and Coffee Board.

He said the priority will always be for the government to ensure sufficient availability for the 1.4 billion people of the country, and only the surplus has to be exported. Since the better price realisation comes from processed foods, the government would like exporters to process those raw products in the country and ship them after converting them to value-added products as per global demand.

Apeda, government’s key agri export promotion body, on Friday, signed an MoU with LuLu Hypermarket to work together to form a closer association as strategic partners to promote India’s agri products in the global market.

According to Apeda data, India’s export of 27 categorised products promoted by the agency has dropped 11 per cent to $ 10.54 billion during April-August of the current fiscal mainly due to curbs on wheat and non-basmati shipments.

Surpassing the target of $ 23.56 billion, exports of major agriculture and processed products (broadly divided under 27 categories) promoted by Apeda jumped 8.74 per cent to $26.72 billion during the last fiscal from $24.57 billion in 2021-22.

This article has been republished from The Hindu Business Line

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