Maharashtra currently accounts for more than 50% of the country's agriculture exports. The state exports 60-70% of the fruits, vegetables and cereals annually. In a bid to consolidate its position as a leader in agriculture exports, the state government will soon formulate its own policy.
The government has formed an 11-member committee headed by the agriculture commissioner Suhas Diwase to pen the policy and submit it by May 31. The state's policy will be drafted taking a cue from the Centre's agriculture policy released last year which aimed to double agricultural exports from the current $30+ billion to $60+ billion by 2022 and reach $100 billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
Grapes, mango, pomegranate and banana are the major fruits exported from the state. The area under various fruit crops during 2016-17 was 742,000 hectares of which the area under mango was 157,000 hectares, orange 108,000 hectares, sweet orange 3.3 mln hectares, pomegranate 141,000 hectares, banana 82,000 hectares, sapota 16,000 hectares and grapes 104,,000 hectares. In addition to this, the state also exports vegetables, onion and rice.
"The policy will strengthen the entire eco-system especially from the pre and post harvesting, cold chain and the quality of produce. There is a rising demand for medicinal plants and nutri cereals and value-added produce. The policy will lay down a framework on how to tap the global market," said Diwase.