The export potential of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy sector in India has not been fully tapped, considering the size and diversity of these sectors, says the study. Citing Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) data, it says that world trade of fresh fruits and vegetable was estimated to be $40 billion in 2003, while the Asian region accounted for nearly 15% share of the global trade of fruits and vegetable imports. Indias exports of fruits, including edible nuts in 2003-04, aggregated to $166 million and vegetable exports accrued to $205 million, said the study.
Major problems for fresh fruit and vegetable exports from India include low productivity (cost competitiveness) as compared to global standards, prevalence of a low level of pre-harvest and post-harvest technologies, international quality standards and existence of distortion in market channels, the study notes.
The study suggested the need for gaining deeper understanding of different kinds of technologies as being essential in the pre-harvest and post harvest phase, to ensure retention of the quality of the produce.
Research institutions could obtain details about the latest technology on storage of various agriculture products and then develop appropriate storage protocols to suit Indian fruits and vegetables.