Pawar roots for long-term agricultural ex-im policy

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 09, 2012 14:00 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) India, which has become a major exporter of agricultural produce in the world, should switch from a "see-saw" policy on agricultural exports to a long-term export-import policy, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here Tuesday.

"Whenever there is a shortfall, we stop exports in order to resolve supplies for domestic consumption," Pawar said at the Economic Editors Conference here.

"But now the time has come for a continuing long term export-import policy," Pawar said, adding that there had been no ban on export of any agricultural product for the last one year.

"We want to continue this," he added.

With record agricultural production for the past two years, the country has exported around 10 million tonnes of rice and 2.5 million tonnes each of wheat and sugar. The country also has a buffer of around 70 million tonnes of food grain stocks, against a requirement of 21.2 million tonnes, he said.

India's agriculture exports increased from Rs.1.20 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs.1.87 lakh crore in 2011-12, registering a growth of more than 50 percent during the year, he said.

"This was primarily on account of higher exports of cotton, rice, sugar, wheat, guar gum meal, maize, groundnut and castor oil."

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