The government will shortly bring in a policy designed to facilitate access to global markets for Indian agricultural produce, new Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday.
“If farmers produce something, they should get access to global markets and get better prices for that, and for that we will put in place a good policy framework very soon,” Prabhu, who took charge of the Commerce and Industry portfolio on Monday, said while addressing an agriculture summit here.
He said the Commerce Ministry will work on developing a global supply chain for the agriculture sector.
“As a minister it’s my job to ensure that we develop this global supply chain and ensure farmers get better prices,” Prabhu said.
“We will start working on that. This is on our agenda. My ministry will make sure that we will achieve this goal to ensure that India’s agriculture is also able to feed the global economy,” he added.
He also said that multilaterally there is also the need to work on removing trade barriers in order to boost Indian agricultural exports.
“We have right to have access to global markets for our farm produce by removing all trade restrictive practices,” he said.
The Minister also said the government will work on developing agriculture parks in India.
India and China have, in a joint proposal to the WTO, called for eliminating trade-distorting agricultural subsidies given by developed countries, the Indian Commerce Ministry said last week.
“India and China jointly submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling for the elimination — by developed countries — of the most trade-distorting form of farm subsidies known as Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS), or ‘Amber Box’ support, as a prerequisite for consideration of other reforms in domestic support negotiations,” an official statement here said.
“The joint paper reveals that developed countries, including the US, the EU and Canada, have been consistently providing trade-distorting subsidies to their farmers at levels much higher than the ceiling applicable to developing countries,” it said.
“It counters the efforts by some countries to target the subsidies of the developing countries while letting the developed countries retain their huge farm subsidies,” the statement added.
The subsidies by the developed countries amount to around $160 billion. On the other hand, countries like India provide a subsistence amount of about $260 per farmer annually, the ministry said.