NEW DELHI: The fifteenth Finance Commission has set up a high-level expert group to recommend measurable performance incentives for states to encourage agriculture exports and promote crops to enable high import substitution.

The seven-member expert group on agriculture exports, headed by ITC chairman Sanjiv Puri, has three months to submit its report to the commission.

The group has been set up to assess export and import substitution opportunities for Indian agricultural products including commodities, and semi processed and processed food items in the changing international trade scenario and suggest ways to step up exports sustainably and reduce import dependence, the commission said in a statement on Monday.

Its members include former agriculture secretary Radha Singh, Nestle India chairman Suresh Narayanan, agriculture technology firm UPL Ltd CEO Jay Shroff, Olam Agro India Ltd country head Sanjay Sacheti, New Delhi-based think tank Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) director general Sachin Chaturvedi, and the chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda).

It is mandated to suggest appropriate performance-based incentives to state governments for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 to accelerate reforms in the agriculture sector as well as implement other policy measures in this regard.

The group will recommend strategies and measures to increase farm productivity, enable higher value addition, ensure waste reduction, strengthen logistics infrastructure, etc. to improve the sector’s global competitiveness. It needs to identify the impediments for private sector investments along the agricultural value chain.


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