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Agri export in fiscal 2018-19 11.76%; Lowest in three years, says DGCI&S
Tuesday, 13 August, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The agricultural export in the last fiscal was lowest in last three years. With a share of about 11.76 per cent share of the country's overall exports, agri export witnessed a decline during the year 2018-19, which stood at about 12.66 per cent in 2017-18 and 12.07 per cent in 2016-17, according to the data published by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S).

Amongst the commodities exported by India, non-basmati rice also witnessed decline during the previous two years. 88,18,533 MT (metric tonne) of non-basmati rice worth $3,636.60 million was exported during 2017-18, while a sharp decline was witnessed during 2018-19, wherein 75,99,749 MT of non-basmati rice was exported worth $3040.22 million.

According to the available statistics during April-May of the current fiscal 2019-20, 71,183 MT of non-basmati rice was exported worth $293.82 million.

According to the ministry of commerce's statement in Parliament, as export and import of agricultural products depend on several factors, such as international and domestic demand and supply situation, international and domestic prices, quality concerns and food security concerns, no targets for exports or imports are fixed.

Bangladesh, which was a major non-basmati rice importer from India, imported just 4,80,556 MT of rice in 2018-19, vis-a-vis the previous year’s import of 20,37,980 MT.

Although, the export of basmati rice has increased from $3,208.60 million in 2016-17 to $4,712.44 million in 2018-19.

In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce stated, “Promotion of exports of agricultural products like basmati rice is a continuous process. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an autonomous organisation under the administrative control of Department of Commerce, has been mandated with the export promotion of rice, including basmati rice.”

“APEDA has been able to register Basmati rice as a Geographical Indication (GI) in February 2016. APEDA, in collaboration with the trade, has also established Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), which undertakes various activities for development and export promotion of Basmati rice,” it added.

“Moreover, APEDA has also been providing assistance to the Basmati rice exporters under various components of its export promotion scheme,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, some of the major commodities, which registered a decline in exports were buffalo meat (-4.07 per cent), non-basmati rice (-7.75 per cent) and cotton (-16.38 per cent).

The Ministry of Commerce has stated that there are several reasons for the decline, viz lower prices and demand in the international market, unfavourable currency movements and international developments like sanctions against Iran and Russia.

“Further, no study has been conducted to assess the long term impact of exports on the agricultural and horticultural sector by the Department of Commerce. However, it is expected that exports not only provide better market opportunities to the growers but also generally help in increasing their income,” it added in the statement.
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