August 18, 2020
Self-reliance in agriculture and food processing is at the core of the initiative to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)
Agricultural exports as a percentage of India’s agricultural GDP has increased from 9.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 9.9 per cent in 2018-19
Agricultural imports as a percentage of India’s agricultural GDP has declined from 5.7 per cent in 2017-18 to 4.9 per cent in 2018-19
Owing to the growing strengths, India’s agricultural exports are expected to grow from US$38.5 billion in 2019 to US$60 billion by 2022
The exports of agricultural commodities from India recorded a year-on-year jump of over 23 per cent during March 2020 to June 2020 to reach Rs.255.5 billion (US$3.4 billion) as per an official report on August 18. Agricultural, the largest employment generator in India, has long remained the key strength of the Indian economy. This strength attained new heights during the COVID-19 lockdowns when the agriculture sector emerged with strong output and income figures. Meanwhile, the agricultural exports as a percentage of India’s agricultural GDP have increased from 9.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 9.9 per cent in 2018-19. Simultaneously, agricultural imports as a percentage of India’s agricultural GDP has declined from 5.7 per cent to 4.9 per cent, indicating exportable surplus and decreased dependence on the import of agricultural products in India.
The gross value added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing was estimated at around Rs.19.5 trillion during FY 2020 while foodgrain output was measured at record 295.7 million tonnes. Horticulture, dairy, and fisheries sectors also reported record output. Driven by volume and variety of output, the Indian food industry is expected to break into new markets, raising supply to the global food value chain. Besides agricultural output, India’s food processing sector has also grown its market with high-margin and high-quality offerings. As a result, India’s total agricultural exports are expected to grow from US$38.5 billion in FY 2019 to US$60 billion by 2022. A new set of reforms now aims to further boost the output and income of farmers by improving their access to markets and easing regulations around the marketing of agricultural and processed items.
Self-reliance in agriculture is critical for the goal of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). For this, agricultural export is extremely important as besides earning precious foreign exchange for the country exports help farmers/producers/exporters to take advantage of international markets and increase their income. Exports have also resulted in increased production in the agriculture sector by increasing area coverage and productivity. As per WTO’s Trade Statistics, the share of India’s agricultural exports and imports in the world agriculture trade in 2017 was 2.27% and 1.90%, respectively. Even during the difficult times of pandemic lockdown, India took care not to disturb the world food supply chain and continued to export. With recent policy and budgetary measures, India’s agriculture sector is expected to attain new strengths.