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The Aam Aadmi Celebration (AAP) authorities led by Bhagwant Mann has been shaped in Punjab with a bumper mandate. It’s a mandate for prime expectations on account of assorted ensures provided by AAP. Although the priorities of the brand new authorities might be multifaceted, one space which must be labored upon with due diligence is farmers’ first rate revenue, put in place with fine-tuned State Agriculture Export Coverage (SAEP).

The ever longest agitation led by Punjab farmers was not simply to repeal the three farm legal guidelines but in addition for first rate revenue in opposition to the poor monetary positive aspects in agriculture. The central authorities has had a Minimal Help Worth (MSP) for a number of a long time now, however that has not resolved the issue of agrarian misery. The demand for a legally mandated MSP regime is prone to be possible or sustainable in the long run whereas the missed alternative is an export-led agricultural revolution within the state to extend farmers’ revenue. The brand new authorities has to work laborious on this missed alternative to extend export-led agricultural progress in Punjab, which might be an enormous increase to the farmer’s revenue, bringing total resilience to an agrarian state’s financial system.

The demand for a legally mandated MSP regime is prone to be possible or sustainable in the long run whereas the missed alternative is an export-led agricultural revolution within the state to extend farmers’ revenue.

The central authorities had unveiled its Agriculture Export Coverage (AEP)in December 2018, directed the state governments to draft their coverage to attain the goal of first rate farm revenue. Being the harbinger of the nation’s farm sector, Punjab is devoid of a well-oiled state-owned agri-export coverage for its farm produce, whereas Maharashtra is the primary state that has launched its personal Agriculture Export Coverage, searching for consistency within the centre’s export coverage to advertise the state’s agri-export.

Additionally Learn: Not Guaranteed MSP, an Agriculture Export Policy Can Increase Farmers’ Income

Punjab ranks third in total meals grain manufacturing regardless of that farmers’ misery is seen throughout the state. A skewed MSP-dominated system of rice and wheat results in overproduction of those crops inflicting water desk depletion. Additional, it discourages farmers to develop different money crops and horticulture merchandise, which have greater demand and subsequently may result in a rise in farmers’ revenue. It appears logical that as a substitute of bypassing the market through the use of MSPs, the AAP authorities ought to make severe efforts to allow farmers for the worldwide market.

To an amazing extent, the answer to the financial misery of Punjab farmers is thru a secure and predictable Agriculture Export Coverage which goals at reinvigorating your entire worth chain from export-oriented farm manufacturing and processing to transportation, infrastructure and world market entry. Punjab must have a farmer-oriented technique to attain the dual goal of meals safety for the nation in addition to a distinguished agriculture exporter, that may ship incomes into the pockets of farmers via essential export alternatives.

For the reason that inexperienced revolution within the 60s till now, agricultural coverage targeted on meals safety and value stabilisation with neglect of export-led progress. The central authorities can also be spending enormous cash on procuring and sustaining meals shares over the strategic necessities, with warehouses overflowing. The Inexperienced revolution led by Punjab now to be shifted in the direction of agriculture export revolution could result in catching up with dominating agricultural exporter international locations.

Punjab has an enormous potential to extend agri-export. From the meals bowl, the state will change into a farm export bowl of India within the area of dairy merchandise, processed greens, buffalo meat, poultry, maize and maize merchandise, basmati rice, honey, processed fruits, juices, recent greens and fruits. Punjab Agri-Export Company has claimed to determine potential clusters primarily based on manufacturing, processing and present infrastructure goal to extend the state’s contribution in India’s Agri and allied merchandise from Rs 14,000 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 21,000 crore by 2022-23 and to Rs 32,000 crore by FY 2027-28. At current, the key importers from Punjab are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the US, the UAE, the UK, Pakistan, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and Vietnam.

The state has vital manufacturing and surplus volumes of fruits like citrus (kinnow), guava and recent greens like chillies, okra, beans, peas, brinjal, potato, tomato, ginger, coriander, and extra. Nonetheless, these crops and respective clusters are usually not being thought of for export functions and are traded in native and different states’ markets principally.

Equally, the brand new authorities of Punjab can discover the brand new avenue beneath free commerce agreements (FTAs) with completely different nations to get duty-free market entry for its recent and frozen bovine meat, poultry, fruits-vegetables and dairy merchandise. In December final yr, the UAE lifted a ban on the import of eggs and different poultry merchandise from India, conceding a long-standing demand.

Stringent norms imposed on pesticide residue chemical compounds hindered exports of basmati rice to the EU, Japan, the US, and so forth. Punjab, which contributes greater than 90% of basmati exports, banned the sale of pesticide-containing chemical compounds like Tricyclazole and Buprofezin. To change into an export chief in rice, Punjab has to develop tailored varieties like crimson rice favored by the US and another varieties required by the EU and Japan additionally.

To change into an export chief in rice, Punjab has to develop tailored varieties like crimson rice favored by the US and another varieties required by the EU and Japan additionally.

Lack of connectivity and infrastructure

  • Punjab is a landlocked state, positioned distant from seaports and therefore inocur excessive inland haulage expenses in addition to excessive transit time to move its produce to seaports.
  • At cargo terminals, hefty dealing with expenses are levied on the farmers/exporters making the export unviable.
  • Lack of everlasting perishable cargo centres at Chandigarh and Amritsar worldwide airport.
  • Non-availability of air cargo flights from Punjab airports to main importing locations.
  • Lack of a multi-modal chilly chain community.

Manner ahead

Farmers are usually not conscious of the great agriculture practices required to be undertaken to match export high quality requirements. Linking and skilling of farmers produce organizations (FPOs) with export-oriented meals parks for producing processed cereals, fruits, greens and dairy merchandise.

Excessive-value natural merchandise, horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries export potential is but to be realised. Punjab wants to think about the event of Dairy Export Zones (DEZs) and Natural Product Export Zones (OPEZs) for rising exports in a WTO-compatible method.

Agricultural exports, if correctly supported by processing infrastructure, institutional backup, standardisation, packaging, storage, logistics, advertising and marketing and provide chain connectivity to dry ports, seaports and airports.

We have already got free commerce agreements with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, UAE and are prone to be with Canada and Australia beneath the Complete Financial Partnership Settlement (CEPA). It’s additionally crucial for India to enter FTAs with the EU, the US and the UK as it’s prone to be a serious increase for Punjab farmers’ revenue. Increased investments in R&D and expertise for bettering new forms of crops and their merchandise for world export competitiveness.

The writer is Vice Chairman, Punjab State Planning Board and Chairman, ASSOCHAM Northern Area Improvement Council. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t characterize the stand of this publication.

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