The cooperative lender NCDC signed an MoU with agri export promoting agency APEDA to boost and redefine agri-export in the presence of Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in Delhi on Tuesday. This is aimed at favoring farmers and through them cooperatives.
“Maintaining the momentum of NEDEC Assembly in which cooperative to cooperative business (C2C) was promoted, NCDC aims to assist the govt plan of doubling farmers’ income by strengthening and promoting agri export”, said its Managing Director Sundeep Kumar Nayak soon after signing the MoU.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce is mandated with export promotion of scheduled products including fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat ,dairy- a host of items that come within the ambit of cooperative.
The signing of the MoU coincided with the first national workshop on the agri export policy, approved by the Cabinet recently. The workshop was inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu. Minister of State C. R. Chaudhary, Secretary, Anup Wadhawan, senior officials of various departments of the Government of India, State Governments, agri experts and exporters attended the workshop.
NCDC MD Nayak also tried his best to involve as many cooperators as possible within the limited time he got. “I sent invitation to at least 80 co-op organizations including IFFCO, NCUI, Kribhco, Campco, state marketing co-op federations and anybody that came to my mind”, he told Indian Cooperative.
The MoU envisaged that APEDA and NDCD would mutually work together in synergizing their various programs in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders through a variety of activities.
The landmark MoU also talks of providing technical knowhow to cooperatives to upscale infrastructure created for post-harvest management for APEDA scheduled products to promote exports. APEDA shall share the list of all clusters in various states with NCDC who may approach the clusters for achieving sale and aggregation with export orientation.
APEDA would facilitate exports by the cooperatives assisted or identified by NCDC. It shall facilitate certification of organic produce/areas by the cooperatives assisted or identified by NCDC. The two will also jointly come towards organizing outreach programs, awareness programs and workshop for stakeholders.
Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, who himself is a committed cooperator, having headed boards of Nafcub to Sarawat Bank, wanted cooperatives and through them farmers to take advantage of the new agri export policy of the govt.
Speaking on this occasion the Commerce Minister exhorted all State Governments to set up a nodal agency dedicated for the implementation of the policy. The Minister said that this is the first time that an agri export policy has been formulated and it is comprehensive enough involving all related sectors like R&D, clusters, logistics and transportation. Workshops like these will help to identify bottlenecks, get feedback and suggestions to improve and overcome difficulties in the implementation of the policy, Prabhu underlined.
The objectives of the new export policy are to double agricultural exports from present USD 30 billion to USD 60 billion by 2022 and reach USD 100 billion in the next few years. It also aims to diversify export basket. The vision of the policy is to harness the export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments and make India a global power in agriculture.