August 18, 2020 :
As the economy comes to a standstill amid the coronavirus-led lockdown, India’s agriculture sector has taken the baton of economic growth in its hands. The exports of agricultural commodities from March to June 2020 shot up by 23.24 per cent on-year to Rs 25,552.7 crores, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
Even during the difficult time of pandemic lockdown, India took care to not disturb the world food supply chain and continued to export, the government said. We looked to feed the world kitchen with a thought of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’. We do not use food export as a diplomatic weapon.
Corona virus is the product of China. China spread corona virus in the world to earn money by exporting mask to various equipment related to it. Here it should be noted that Cuba did this type of inhuman means.
Many of us still have hurtful memories of the mid-’60s when, after two successive years of savage drought, India desperately needed American wheat under the US Public Law 480 on rupee payment – and at relatively low prices because the country had no foreign exchange to buy food in the world market. Indira Gandhi had just become prime minister and chose to go to Washington on an official visit. Lyndon Johnson gave her a gushing welcome and responded to the food problem confronting her effusively, promising as many as 10 million tons of PL480 wheat. However, at an early stage the transaction turned sour.
Infuriated by India’s criticism of American bombings of Hanoi and Haiphong in the course of the Vietnam War, the irascible Texan put food shipments on such a tight leash that India literally lived from ship to mouth. With every morsel we swallowed a little humiliation. When told that the Indians were saying exactly the same thing as the UN Secretary-General and the Pope were, Johnson had retorted: “The Pope and the Secretary-General do not need our wheat.”
Shastri’s conflict with American President Lyndon Johnson
During 1965 war with Pakistan, there was acute shortage of food. Adding to the woes, the US threatened to cut supplies of wheat if India didn’t stop the war. At that time, India used to import wheat. Undeterred by the US’s warning, Shastri ji adopted a new method. He asked his family to skip dinner for a day as he wanted to know how would countrymen feel to forgo one meal a day. Next day addressing countrymen on AIR, he asked people to go without one meal at least once a week. Even all eateries abided by his words for next few weeks. The man with high self-esteem denied to bow down before US. It was then he gave famous slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. He aimed at raising rural economy and encourage it just like industries. That’s the reason he promoted White Revolution and Green Revolution. The nationwide movement to propel India’s milk and food production respectively brought a drastic change in the economy of the country. It was a stepping stone towards being a self sufficient nation.
Citing shining examples of such local models, PM Modi spoke about the revolution that happened in the sugar industry in Maharashtra, white revolution in the milk industry in Gujarat and green revolution in wheat, rice, and pulses production in various states.
September 18, 2017: It’s time for Sweet, Blue revolutions: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday prodded farmers in Gujarat to start a “Sweet Revolution” — that of honey. He also called for a “Blue Revolution” — or spread of waterways to transport goods.
At a public rally in Amreli on his birthday, Modi said the honey production farm of the Amreli District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited, also known as Amar Dairy, will herald the Sweet Revolution. “We have had a Green Revolution and a White Revolution,” the Prime Minister said. “The honey production farm will herald the Sweet Revolution or revolution in production of honey.” Modi also called for a Blue revolution in the Saurashtra region, meaning the spread of waterways so that goods can be transported through these. “We are moving towards waterways. We are working on port development and port-led development,” he said, adding that his government will encourage shipment of goods from one coast of the country to the other via the sea route. “These two revolutions have the potential to transform the lives of the people of Saurashtra,” he said at the rally after inaugurating the new Amreli Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) building.
He also urged the state’s milk cooperative unions to collect honey from farmers and sell it.
Indian agricultural exports to US increased 15% in July 2020, due to the robust demand: TPCI
Indian agricultural exports to US in the month of July 2020 grew by 15 percent compared to last year’s same period while the US agricultural exports to India declined 56.07 percent, as per the data of Office of USTR and confirmed from USDA GATS System.
Speaking on the growth in agri exports to US for July month, Chairman Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), Mohit Singla said, “There is surge in demand of Indian rice, spices and vegetables including essential oils, soybean meal, cake and some extracts for medical use.” Food and agri products of India has been seeing sustained surge in demand during the pandemic time. The surge in demand over the impact of the crisis on overall agricultural exports reflects the fact that demand for food is relatively sustainable, and that marine transportation used for most agricultural products has not been significantly disrupted due to pandemic, Chairman added.
Singla also highlighted that, “TPCI constant engagement with buyers and suppliers throughout the year has been very well reciprocated by the industry, which responded very positively despite tough times. The India- US trade relations have intensified over recent times and its stronger than ever for the food sector.”
Expressing optimism TPCI Chairman said, “The supportive domestic ecosystem created by policy push will further see Indian agri and food products surge in demand globally.” Global trade shows signs of rebound from Covid-19 as per the WTO latest estimate, the performance of the trade for the year to date exceeded expectations due to a surge in June and July as lockdowns were eased and economic activity accelerated, he added.
The data shows the top Indian agricultural exports to US in the month of July 2020 were rice ($34 million), spices ($24 million), vegetable saps and extracts for medical use ($24 million), essential oils ($23 million), and soybean meal and cake ($21 million). Top US exports to India in the month of July 2020 were almonds ($50 million), cotton ($6.8 million), mixture of odoriferous substance ($2.4 million), walnuts ($1.9 million), and fresh fruit ($1.7 million).
In July, India sold 33,500 tons of rice to the United States, up from its previous 25,100 tons in June. For several years, India typically shipped 13,000 to 17,000 tons of rice each month to the United States. Most of the rice from India is basmati, which is classified as long-grain. The basmati rice shipments to the United States have sharply risen since June.
Favorable conditions are expected to raise the Indian 2020/21 soybean crop to 11.2 million tons from 9.3 million last year owing to increased sowing area and normal rainfall.
India has sought market access for several products which is under discussion in the ongoing negotiations for which access is likely to be granted. Some of the products include- Table Grapes, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Papaya, Potato, Turnip, Radish, Sweet orange, Radish, Dried Onion, etc.
Chairman TPCI also highlighted the current bottleneck, “Despite having huge orders for food products exporters are not able to timely supply due to unavailability of containers.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Three Mantras for India’s Farmers
July 29, 2014 – Mr Modi, who addressed the 86th Foundation Day function of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research or ICAR today, laid down three clear mantras for Indian agriculture. (Highlights of his speech)Emphasising on the need to boost productivity within the constraints of time and land, Mr Modi advocated a policy of, “Kam zameen, kam samay, zyaada upaj” (Smaller land, shorter time, more productivity).
In his second mantra — “per drop, more crop” — he urged agri scientists to work towards increasing crop productivity with a focus on improved irrigation methods.
Scientists should work fast on productivity without compromising on quality, said Mr Modi, adding that it was imperative that scientific knowledge reach farmers in the field.
“We need to think of how to reach out to farmers,” Mr Modi said, adding, “Farmers need to be empowered more in order to produce more and earn more…Per drop, more crop, should be the new mission statement.”