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Punjab behind in export of agricultural products, Haryana ahead

Charanjit Bhullar / Trinew

Chandigarh, 5 April

Punjab is now a laggard in the export of agricultural products, while the neighboring state of Haryana has come a long way in this matter. The export of agricultural products from Punjab is decreasing every year. The wheat and paddy cycle in the state is reducing export opportunities. The processing sector is also weak, so the path of export is becoming difficult for Punjab. Despite Punjab being an agricultural state, no government has paid attention to exports.

According to the details of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in the year 2018-19, Punjab was at the ninth position in the country with the export of agricultural products of $ 1402 million, while in the year 2021-22 this figure was $ 978 million and the state was at the 13th position. But slipped. At the same time, Haryana has exported agricultural products worth $ 2746 million in the year 2021-22, which was $ 2678 million in 2017-18.

A large area in Punjab is under wheat and paddy. In the past, governments did not pay much attention to fruits and vegetables or other crop diversity. The identity of different regions of Punjab is associated with particular fruits and vegetables, but the lack of processing holds them back. In the cooperative institutions of Punjab, agricultural products are sent abroad by Markfed, Milkfed and Punjab Agro Export Corporation etc.

Harcharan Singh Dhillon (Karadwala), a progressive farmer from Bathinda district, said that if the central government opens the Wagah border, Punjab will shine on the country’s map. He said that Punjab has to pay expensive freight for exports, due to which it is a loss-making deal.

Significantly, the governments had created many agri zones in Punjab, but in reality not much work could be done. Farmers say that the opening of the Wagah border will give a big boost to Punjab’s agriculture. They say that Mumbai’s lobby, which sends agricultural products via Dubai, is not allowing this to happen.

Gujarat on the first position

According to the statistics of the year 2021-22, Gujarat exported the maximum agricultural products worth $ 9228 million from the country. Maharashtra is at number two, from where agricultural products worth $8370 million were sent abroad. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are among the leading states in the export of agricultural products.

Will focus on new agricultural policy: President

State Farmers and Laborers Welfare Agriculture Commission Chairman Dr. Sukhpal Singh said that Punjab is suffering due to being away from the sea coast. Punjab supplies raw agricultural products, but lacks in processing. He said that in the new agriculture policy being prepared by the Punjab government, focus is also being laid on the processing sector.

Hurt on employment opportunities as well

Dr. Sukhpal Singh of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad said that processing and marketing have never been a priority in Punjab. No attention has been paid to high value products. He said that where foreign capital could not come due to this, employment opportunities have also reduced. Punjab is far away from the port, due to which opportunities are not available like other states.

steady decline

Year Export

(million dollars)

2017-18 1545

2018-19 1402

2019-20 1267

2020-21 1161

2021-22 978

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