Mumbai: The government wants private sector to invest
in the country''s agriculture sector by developing cold
chains, warehousing and transport facilities, and thereby
helping to remove infrastructure bottlenecks that hamper
farm sector growth.
hope that the private sector would supplement public investment
in agro-exports sector, pitching in greater investments
than ever before," commerce and industry minister
Kamal Nath told the parliamentary consultative committee.
remained a major problem confronting the Indian agriculture
in general exports in particular, he said.
is a need to strengthen cold chain network, transportation
and warehousing to ensure that wastage is minimised and
the agricultural produce meets high quality standards,"
Nath was quoted in an official release.
the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Developments
Authority (APEDA) has proposed Rs2,500 crore investment
to set up 12 centres across the country for handling agro-perishable
centres would come up at Chandigarh, Muzaffarpur, Agra,
Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Nasik, Pune, Nagpur, Raipur,
Hyderabad and Dharmapuri, APEDA chairman K S Money said.
meeting also discussed the need for setting up quality
assurance laboratories in the country whose certifications
would b accepted globally for export purposes.
Spices Board has proposed to set up regional quality control
laboratories at Guntur, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
government, Nath said, would give a major thrust to the
export of organic agro-products and take up the issue
of greater market access for agricultural products with
has a huge potential for organic farming and exports of
organic agro-products will be promoted in a big way by
the government," he said. With Indian mangoes gaining
market access in Japan and the US, Nath said there was
a need to further expand agro-trade to overseas markets.
said Australia and New Zealand were yet to open their
markets to Indian mangoes, while Russia was not allowing
the import of egg powder and meat.
are other commodities like gherkins and floriculture products
that face certain barriers in the EU. The ministry is
committed to engage with other countries and agencies
to remove the current impediments to achieve higher agricultural
exports to these markets," he said.
Nath also highlighted the need to improve overall agricultural
productivity since there was an increasing domestic demand
for agricultural products and exports are not possible
unless the domestic demand is met. The minister appreciated
the need to set up laboratories for certification of exports
and reiterated the need to develop organic farming. He
also noted that the increased competition from different
countries such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka in tea necessitated
the need to devise a strategy to deal with the increasing
competition in this sector.
said he has sought prime minister Manmohan Singh''s intervention
for speedy notification of service tax waiver for exporters.
"I have written to Prime Minister on this issue and
it is expected that notification for this is likely to
be issued shortly," Nath said.
exports from the country have grown 9.4 per cent annually
during 2001-06. Total agro-exports in 2005-06 stood at