Time to turn crisis into opportunity for agri exports- Mr Paban K Borthakur, Chair

No.PR-81 May 16, 2020 New Delhi Time to turn crisis into opportunity for agri exports- Mr Paban K Borthakur, Chair Agribusiness Committee PHDCCI organized a Webinar on Agri Exporrt Policy- Promoting Exports of Agri and Food Exports from Eastern India- UP, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal on 13 May 2020. The Experts’ Panel comprised Mr Paban K Borthakur, Chair, APEDA, Dr S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Ms Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor, Min. Of Civil Aviation, Ms Shubhra, Trade Advisor, Min. of Agriculture. State Nodal Officers for Implementation of Agri Export Policy and Senior Officers from State Horticulture Departments joined from respective states. During his keynote address Mr Borthakur, Chair, APEDA, urged the exporters to translate the crisis into opportunity. Global trade is undergoing change we have to become new world order ready and work on issues of production, productivity, GAP, waste utilization, pesticide residues , shortage of testing laboratories, logistics and cold chain. He assured the exporters that APEDA is going out to extend support and our Indian embassies and missions in foreign countries are also extending whole hearted support to exporters. Mr Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber, while welcoming the Eminent speakers and delegates was assured that people like Mr Borthakur, who has always stood by exporters and have the command, a suitable package will be given to bail out exporters. We are expecting higher incentives on existing schemes, subsidy on transport and air cargo as rates have increased multiple times, said Mr Multani. At the outset we are hoping the trade by surface to our neighbours like Bangladesh will start soon. Bangladesh is a prominent importer of our rice from Punjab, haryana and West Bengal, I would urge the state government of Chattisgarh to promote its fragrant rice varieties, said Mr Multani. Ms Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor, Civil Aviation joined the Webinar and informed that she is also serving as Economic and Statistical Advisor in Ministry of Agriculture, and the Krishi Udaan. She informed that more than 160 flights will become operational from 2 June 2020. She also shared her concern of overdependence on foreign airlines, She informed that the government is working on strengthening our Aviation sector. Nearly 20 tonnes of agri produce was exported in a passenger craft bringing NRIs. During COVID 19 we can use the passenger flights as Cargo Flights by getting fresh licenses. She also said that there is need for safeguarding our genetic knowledge and heritage as we can then be able to attach a premium to it. There is also an urgent need to focus on domestic movement of agri produce from surplus states to deficit states using air cargo facilities. Dr S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, said that india is blessed with such a climate where all types of fruits and vegetables can be grown. The Agri Export Policy aims to double the exports and enhance value addition. He also said that india needs to expand its export basket and concentrate on new products like sticky rice, millets, ginger, garlic as also increase the quality of such products. There is need for developing a ‘Brand India’ and ‘Destination Gulf’ like campaign as has also been stressed upon by the Honb’le Prime Minister. Ms Shubhra, Trade Advisor, stressed upon the need for diversification and seamless supply chain. She invited specific proposals from industry for development of specific crops and Promote brand india. Shri Nand Kishore Aggarwal Chair of the Agribusiness committee also welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates and raised some pertinent issues relating to exports of perishables. There were more than 100 participants from Exporters fraternity from the 6 states. The delegates were exporters and startUPs from the states of uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jhakhand, Odisha and West Bengal and they raised concerns related to accreditation of poultry farms for export of eggs, packaging, need for flights for cargo too neighboring countries like Bangladesh, promotion, etc. Ends. Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry