India to focus on quality of food exports: Prabhu

suresh-prabhu-pti [File] Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu | PTI

Food exports from India will be a part of government's trade focus going ahead. Indian food exports have recently faced hurdles across a number of food export destinations over non-conformance with quality and phytosanitary standards.

To check an increase in non-quality exports of food items from India, one of the largest food exporters in the world, the government has set out a traceability portal, which will allow suppliers as well as buyers to independently check the quality of the food produce.

“With this safe food export traceability portal we want to reinstate the confidence of India's trading partners of complete quality management of the consignment from farm to fork,” said Suresh Prabhu, minister for commerce & industries, on Tuesday.

Prabhu was speaking at the launch of digital initiatives by the Export Inspection Council of the commerce ministry, as part of which the safe food export portal was also launched.

The portal aims to provide fast, transparent, hassle free exports and seeks to reduce the official interface with this online portals.

The initiative would also launch a one lab and one assessment portal which would simplify the procedures for availing joint assessment certification and accountability for food exports.

“We want to make India's vast coastline a food basket for the world. To achieve this we are also seeking help from other ministries like the food processing ministry, the ministry of civil aviation to see if farmers could get air connectivity for their exports,” said Prabhu.

The commerce ministry had recently released a draft agri-export policy for India and circulated it in public domain. Agriculture, fisheries and livestock exports form a major thrust of this policy. The ministry is currently seeking opinion of stakeholders and the public before formalising a final version of it.