NEW DELHI: Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia asked exporters of agricultural products to improve value addition and traceability to remain competitive.
"We have so far focussed on low or no value addition. Now we need to do more value addition," Teaotia said at an event organised by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) here.
India is the seventh largest exporter of farm products. It exported $33.8 billion worth agri products in 2016-17, which is 12 per cent of the Country's total merchandise exports of $ 276.28 billion.
Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Iran, Iraq and Nepal are the major destinations for export of food products from India. Noting that smaller and nimbler countries have taken away some share from India, Teaotia also asked exporters to look at organic certification. Moreover, she emphasised on promoting traceability keeping in mind market expectations.
"Every market expects us to maintain complete traceability. We will need to work on traceability. Our value chains are fragmented...it's a complex process," she said. APEDA has Tracenet system that helps in maintaining authentic information and related data of all the organic stakeholders.
The Tracenet system covers certification of all horticulture and agriculture crops including peanut, grapes, anar, mango and okra. The system also helps trace meat by keeping a tab on overall exports on the basis of approved capacities of the meat plants. The system ensure that meat is sourced from APEDA registered meat plant.