Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Shobha Karandlaje on Wednesday said her home state Karnataka is lagging behind in agricultural exports even as the country saw record foodgrains production last year.
“Amidst the Covid pandemic, India has produced record quantity of agricultural produce. But compared to other states, Karnataka is lagging behind in exports,” she Minister said during a ‘Vanijya Utsav’ event in the Karnataka capital.
Notably, India produced 305 million tonnes of food grains and 326 MT of fruits and vegetables.
She said that Karnataka is blessed with varied agro-climatic zones and the state needs to exploit this varied agro climatic zones to grow all variety of agricultural products.
“Also there is need for enhancing our R&D departments to get the good quality of agri produce which is suitable for exporting,” Karandlaje said, as per an Agriculture Ministry statement.
With reference to self-reliant India, Karandlaje directed attention towards the oil palm sector.
“India has become self-reliant in all most all sectors except edible Oils.Now it is time for us to grow oil palm and set up oil processing units to achieve Aatma Nirbharata in the oil palm sector,” she said averring that the country’s agriculture future lies in exports.
The Minister directed the officials to focus that agricultural produce is made chemical free.
She apprised that the Centre has sanctioned funds for development of agri infrastructure which has to be utilized properly so that the best quality of agriculture produce can be harnessed.
As part of the celebrations of the 75th year of independence, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is organising various programmes across the country, and Vanijya Utsav was one among them.