The Uttar Pradesh government today announced its maiden agricultural export policy in targetting to augment farmers’ income and promote export of farm commodities.
The policy further seeks to create an institutional mechanism for farm exports, promote export-oriented commodities and encourage the cultivation of environmentally-friendly agro varieties in the state.
The policy was cleared by the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow this afternoon.
UP cabinet minister Shrikant Sharma later told the media that armed with the new agri export policy, the state aimed at doubling the export of agricultural commodities to about Rs 17,571 crore by 2024 with the help of farmer producer organisations (FPO).
Under the policy, the government would promote cluster farming of export oriented commodities over an area of at least 50 hectares by giving sops. For example, the state would provide subsidy of maximum Rs 10 lakh for cluster of 50-100 hectares during a five-year period, with 40 per cent amount to be provided in the first year itself.
However, the cluster would have to ensure at least 30 per cent of production is exported to be eligible to benefit under the scheme, apart from conforming to good agricultural practices mandated by the respective importing countries’ standards.
Besides, the policy is aimed at boosting food processing units in the vicinity of such clusters. However, such units need to export 40 per cent of production to gain subsidy amount to the maximum ceiling of Rs 25 lakh. This subsidy would be in addition to the existing subsidy such units get under the industrial development and food processing subsidies.
Since, UP is a landlocked state, the government has also decided, under the agri export policy, to provide transport subsidy to export consignments. Eligible agro commodities would be given Rs 10/kg and Rs 5/kg as export subsidy for air and sea transport respectively.
At the same time, students pursuing agricultural export courses would be given 50 per cent fee subsidy to encourage the grooming of new age professionals in the growing field.
Meanwhile, the cabinet cleared the paddy procurement policy for 2019-20, which is aimed at facilitating robust procurement of the food grain and promoting contract farming and share cropping.
Sharma said the government had for the first time decided to allow procurement of paddy from contract farming and share croppers with certain riders to ensure payment of minimum support price (MSP) to genuine farmers. The paddy procurement season would start from October 1 and continue for 5 months till February 29, 2020.
The government is targetting procuring five million tonnes of paddy at an MSP of Rs 1,835 per quintal for grade-A produce, apart from providing Rs 20 per quintal extra to farmers as transport and other support, which effectively increases the net payable to Rs 855 per quintal in UP.