UP recorded 36% jump in exports in 2020-21: State MSMEs minister
Uttar Pradesh reported a 36% jump in exports to ₹1.21 lakh crore in 2020-21 compared to ₹88,967 crore in 2017-18 because of the government’s policies such as one-district-one-product (ODOP) and robustness of small industries, Sidharth Nath Singh, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) minister of the state, said on Thursday.
The MSME sector is the “backbone for employment generation and industrial growth in UP”, and due to its excellent performance the state could achieve positive growth in exports even during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Singh told reporters on Thursday.
Despite a 68-day nationwide hard lockdown since March 25 last year, UP achieved 0.65% growth in exports in FY-21 even as the top three performers – Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu -- saw 0.38%, 6.08% and 9.09% contraction, respectively, according to the central government data. UP was the fifth largest contributor in India’s export basket for the previous fiscal year after Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Singh said export growth is part of a conscious effort of the Yogi Adityanath government, which conceived the policy of ODOP to boost its rural economy immediately after it came to power in 2017. “We launched it in January 2018. Now, it has caught attention nationally. The Union finance minister had mentioned it in the budget... Under this we focused on promoting traditional industries specific to particular districts,” he said.
He gave the example of “kalanamak chawal” (black rice). “Kalanamak chawal is basically sticky rice... The cultivation of this crop was towards extinction. We encourage it in Siddharthnagar. And, I’m happy to inform, despite the Covid pandemic, buyers from Japan and Singapore are engaging with our farmers to export it,” he said.
While inaugurating a highway project in Varanasi on November 30 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “black rice was introduced two years ago in Chandauli to increase the income of the farmers. Last year, a farmer committee was formed and around 400 farmers were given this rice to grow in the kharif season. While normal rice sells for ₹35-40 a kg, this black rice was sold for up to ₹300 a kg. For the first time, this rice has been exported to Australia, that too at the rate of around ₹800 per kg.”