Agricultural exports (including marine) grew by 5.1% in 2013-14 over 2012-13 to US$ 37,292 million according to the Economic Survey 2013-14 released in New Delhi today. Exports of marine products alone increased by 44.8% over the same period.
Since the opening up of exports of rice in 2011, there has been a surge in its share in total exports from US$2575mn, in 2010-11 to US$7742mn in 2013-14. Exports of total dairy, poultry, meat, and marine products have doubled their share in agricultural exports between 2008-09 and 2013-14.
A stable and long-term trade policy with respect to export of agricultural products is essential for increasing productivity. Significantly, some policy changes were made in recent years: exports of rice and wheat were permitted since 2011; and since February 2013 processed and/or value added agricultural products were exempted from export restrictions even if their base produce is subject to an export ban. These will benefit farmers, incentivize the development of the agro-processing sector, and enhance farm productivity.
During the last five years ending 2012-13, the food processing sector has been growing faster than the agriculture sector at an average annual growth rate of around 8.4%. With the decline in farm employment, additional employment opportunities have to be created in agro based industries.
Agricultural credit flow achievement was Rs 7,30,765 crore as against the target of Rs 7,00,000 crore in 2013-14. To facilitate clearance of arrears of previous sugar seasons and timely settlement of cane price for the current sugar season to sugarcane farmers, interest free bank loans of Rs 6600 crore was envisaged as additional working capital to sugar mills. An incentive of Rs 3300 per ton for raw sugar production targeted for the export market was also given to sugar mills.
Due to higher procurement, stocks of foodgrains in Central Pool stood at 69.84 mt as on June 1, 2014. Currently, India is in an anomalous situation of having large stocks of foodgrains with high food inflation.
Public expenditure (comprising public investments and input subsidies) has been ceding its share in total Gross Capital Formation of the agricultural sector to the private sector and was 14.7% in 2012-13. As a percentage of agricultural GDP also private investment has been rising and was 18.1% in 2012-13.