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Cabinet approves policy to boost farm exports: minister

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

(Reuters) - The on Thursday approved a policy to boost exports of farm commodities such as tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, said.

The policy, approved at a meeting of Narendra Modi's cabinet, is aimed at helping step up exports of an array of farm goods but also seeks to avoid ad hoc, knee-jerk policy decisions often aimed at keeping a lid on

The government aims to double India's farm exports to $60 billion by 2022 by integrating with "the global value chain at the earliest," Prabhu told a conference.

The idea behind the policy was to help farmers cash in on export opportunities, he said.

The government has yet to announce full details of the new policy but has said it will include improving infrastructure for farm exports and the government will seek to avoid introducing export curbs when spikes.

Export curbs invariably anger farmers - one of the biggest voting blocks in

Angry farmers have lately staged protests in the capital and Mumbai, the country's financial hub, to demand better prices for their crops.

Modi's faces a tough election due by next May and the last time a BJP government lost power, in a 2004 election, it was largely because rural voters abandoned the party.

New Delhi's fickle policies on farm trade have also hurt India's role as a in the global market.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations, the main body of exporters, said "switch on, switch off" policies had prevented from emerging as a reliable supplier of farm commodities, even in surplus years.

The National Agriculture Export Policy would also focus on infrastructure improvement and ensure state governments play a bigger role in boosting farm exports, said Prabhu.

(Reporting by C. K. Nayank; Edited by and Susan Fenton)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 22:27 IST