Export specialisation and India's agricultural transformation

Photo: Prasad

India has embarked on the promotion of agricultural exports since the late 1990s. Restrictive trade policies were brought down and agricultural production was reoriented towards generating an export surplus. Produce being ferried, Ernakulam, Kerala

Abstract: This paper examines whether export specialisation is a catalyst for agricultural transformation in India. Analysis has shown that India’s export of agricultural products has increased from 1.35 per cent in 2001 to 2.61 in 2019 and there is a significant agricultural trade surplus generated over time. Two products—rice and crustaceans accounted for nearly one-third of export value in 2017-2019 with a little change in export composition. Export specialisation indices broadly confirm these patterns. Results indicate that agricultural transformation led by export specialisation will remain stunted in the near future. The policy should aim at diversification of agricultural export basket through product-specific focus, based on export demand and exploration of new markets.

Authors are Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development (CSRD), School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. elumalaik@mail.jnu.ac.in and Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, South Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, respectively. The article should be cited as Kannan E. and A. Kumar. 2021. Export Specialisation and India’s Agricultural Transformation, Geography and You, 21(147): 50-57.

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