Govt plans to merge all five commodity boards
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government is planning to merge all the commodity boards and establish an umbrella organisation, a decision aimed at improving production and exports of crops such as coffee, tea and spices.
The Ministry of Commerce pointed out that some of these commodity boards were established prior to independence, but their merger could harmonise their activities, leading to enhanced exports.
The five commodity boards are responsible for output, development and outbound shipments of coffee, rubber, spices, tea and tobacco.
“India has a huge potential to boost agri exports. One board will provide better services. So, we are working to form one specialised body with different verticals,” according to a senior commerce ministry.
The Coffee Board was constituted in accordance with the Coffee Act, 1942, while the Rubber Board was set up under the Rubber Act, 1947. The Spices Board was established in February 1987, while Tea board was established under the Tea Act, 1953 in April 1, 1954. The Tobacco Board was formed in January 1976.
The aforementioned five crops play a vital role in India’s economic growth, contributing to the country’s total exports, while creating huge employment opportunities for people.
The slowdown in the global demand, however, has impacted exports of some of these commodities.
In December last year, tea and tobacco exports recorded positive growth, while coffee and spices exports rose by 15% and 3%, respectively.
Agri-products exports account for more than 10% of India’s total exports.
The commerce ministry has directed exporters to tap new global markets and export value-added products in order to boost agri-exports.