The Centre has decided to put an embargo on creation of new Agriculture Export Zones and has asked the states to reconsider the proposals pending with them.
"The state governments have been asked to reconsider the proposals in the light of the decision," official sources said.
The Centre had received 34 proposals for setting up of AEZs but it was decided that instead of sanctioning more AEZs, efforts should be made to strengthen the existing zones.
Sources said the Centre would make exceptions only if there are "strong and compelling" reasons.
AEZs, as opposed to Special Economic Zones, are agro climatic zones specializing in particular product spread over an area of a district.
The decision to put an embargo on creating of new AEZs was taken after a "peer" evaluation of existing ones.
The government has so far sanctioned 60 AEZs since the policy was formulated in 2001. However, they have failed to take off in a significant way even after five years of their existence.
While the government has decided to put an embargo on sanctioning any more agri zones, it is not willing to put a cap on number of SEZs despite strong opposition, particularly from the Left.
While the total agri exports from India aggregate to almost nine billion dollars, the contribution from AEZs remains much below expectations.
The main agriculture products exported from India are foodgrains, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry and dairy products, processed foods, tobacco, tea and coffee.