Plantation commodity exports from India: a comparative analysis of state intervention and competitiveness
Vijayasuryan Chittathuparambil Kunjikrishnan (Kerala State Planning Board)
Paper short abstract:
The study analyses the export competitiveness of plantation commodities in comparison with the non-plantation commodities in India. It presumes that differences in the institutional interventions and export promotional activities in two commodity groups would reflect in their global competitiveness.
Paper long abstract:
The declining trends in the agricultural exports in general and plantation sector in particular cannot be delinked from the developments in the international arena with regard to obligations under World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime and also liberalization of trade. Though several liberalization policies have been initiated by multilateral organisations as well as the Indian government to promote agricultural exports, other factors do play a significant role in this regard. A study on the export of plantation commodities is therefore relevant because of the bearing these commodities have on the India's export earnings on one hand and the livelihood of small and marginal holders and plantation workers on the other. Clearly, there is a fundamental difference in the export promotion mechanisms of plantation and non-plantation commodities. In this context, the present study analyses the export competitiveness of plantation commodities in comparison with the non-plantation commodities presuming that differences in the institutional interventions and export promotional activities in these two commodity groups would reflect in their competitiveness. The study finds that both plantation and non-plantation commodity groups are internationally competitive. Since India faces strong competition in many plantation crops in the international markets, a significant decline in the RCA indices is a matter of concern, especially in view of elaborate institutional arrangements for their export promotion and presence of small producers. Moreover, the commodity boards were unable to resolve the problems faced by the producers and exporters due to instability in prices and unfavorable terms of trade of many plantation commodities.
- Transnational political economies of development