Monday, September 30, 2013

Free farm exim policy helped India earn $40 bn forex: Pawar

Country has not only met domestic demand, but has also exported 20 mn tonnes of grains

Sanjeeb Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said a liberal export and import policy has enabled the country to earn $40 billion of foreign exchange in 2012-13. Addressing the third ASEAN-India ministerial meeting in Kuala Lumpur recently, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said that India now produces over 260 million tonnes of cereals, 160 million tonnes of horticulture produce, 133 million tonnes of milk, 35 million bales of cotton, 24 million tonnes of sugar besides spices, etc.

This has enabled the country to not only meet the demand of 17 per cent of global population residing in India, but have also exported nearly 20 million tonnes of food grains, thus, becoming a major contributor to the world food basket.

“It is a matter of great satisfaction that the food basket of my country has been diversified with increasing share coming from relatively under developed regions,” Pawar said.

He said satisfactory production of food grains helped us to roll out Food Security Act in September, 2013 which gives legal guarantee to more than 800 million populations of food grains at affordable prices.  “We take pride in mentioning that this is world’s largest social sector programme,” Pawar said at the conference.

He also offered to share India’s vast experience in agriculture with ASEAN nations and sought collaboration on farm research to face common challenges of climate change etc.

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