New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that due to the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, the bottlenecks in the export of agricultural products will be removed soon and efforts are being made in this direction.

The Agriculture Minister told IANS that the government is making efforts to remove the bottlenecks in the way of exports.

The ongoing nationwide lockdown to prevent coronavirus spread has affected exports of agricultural products due to the problem of logistics. Exporters said there is a situation of confusion regarding exports.

In such a situation, IANS sought to know from the minister what steps are being taken by the government to remove the barriers to export.

To this Tomar said, “Today (Monday) the officials of our department have interacted with all the exporters through video conferencing and necessary measures are being taken by the central government for exports smoothly.”

According to the information received from the ministry, following Tomar’s instructions, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Sanjay Aggarwal talked to the exporters of agriculture and allied commodities through a video conference to get information about the problems faced by them so that necessary steps can be taken by making meaningful interventions for early redressal of their problems.

Representatives and exporters of organizations and exporters of agricultural commodities such as fruits, vegetables, basmati and non-basmati rice, seeds, flowers, plants, organic products, agricultural equipment and machinery participated in the video conference.

The Ministry of Agriculture stated that exporters mainly lacked labourers, interstate transport interruption, shortage of raw materials, phyto-sanitary certification, interruption in movement of shipping documents due to closure of courier services, problem of availability of goods services, problems of clearance of goods for import and export, including the difficulties of access to ports and yards.

An official of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which comes under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, also told IANS that the export of food products was disrupted due to the problem of logistics.

Aggarwal assured the exporters of agricultural products of efforts in solving their problems.

India is a major exporter of many agricultural products including basmati rice, fruits, vegetables and agriculture and allied exports of the country were at Rs 2.73 lakh crore during 2018-19.

In order to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced to extend the period of nationwide lockdown till May 3.

Therefore, during the lockdown, not only the exporters but also the farmers have been worried about the export of agricultural products, and whether they will be able to get a fair and remunerative price for their crops for export.




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