India’s agricultural and processed food product exports will continue to surge in the current fiscal after a record shipment valued at $25.6 billion in 2021-22 because of global demand for the agricultural commodities, said Madhaiyaan Angamuthu, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA)
Demand for agricultural products from India is witnessing a surge in many markets despite logistical challenges such as freight costs and container shortages, he added. “Demand for Indian products is increasing and optimum efforts are being made to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain,” Angamuthu told FE.
Amongst the APEDA basket products, rice exports in 2021-22 were valued at more than $9.65 billion, while the shipment value of other key commodities like sugar was at $4.6 billion followed by buffalo meat at $3.3 billion, wheat at $2.2 billion and fruits and vegetables at $1.4 billion.
Angamuthu said that growth in the agricultural products export would be sustained despite the government banning wheat exports in May while allowing only shipments which had a letter of credit and those cleared under bilateral deals.
“Our wheat exports rose only in the last two years and we were never a major player in the global market for the cereal while we continue to be the biggest exporter of rice globally in the last decades,” he said. India exported a record 7 million tonne (MT) of wheat worth $2 billion in 2021-22, against just 2.1 MT worth $0.55 billion in 2020-21.
On the possibility of imposing restrictions on exports of agricultural products, the APEDA chairman said that macro environment analysis enables each country to identify the requirement of domestic and surplus and accordingly the decision is taken.
India’s agricultural products including rice, fruits and vegetables, marine, tea and coffee exports crossed a record $50 billion mark in 2021-22. APEDA’s products share in India’s agricultural exports was 52%.
The government is also in the process of creating a matrix for 50 agricultural products with export potential.
On the challenges faced by India’s agricultural and processed food products exports, the agri-export promotion body has identified factors such as pesticide residues, traceability requirements, prohibition and restrictions in exports, market access etc. as a few of the major constraints. As far as traceability is concerned, the export promotion body has set up a system as per the requirement of importing countries, it has been implemented for grapes, peanuts, horticulture products etc shipment.
APEDA for the first time facilitated exports of unique products such as Mishri variety of cherries and saffron, Mushkbudji fragrance rice from Kashmir valley and Apricot from Kargil to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Similarly, ‘Bao-dhaan’, grown in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam was exported to the United States. Jamun was shipped to the United Kingdom from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh as ‘exotic’ fruit.
A range of Geographical Identification (GI) tagged products were exported such as King Chilli from Nagaland to the United Kingdom, Bhalia wheat from Gujarat to Kenya and Sri Lanka, sweet dish Mihidana from Bardhaman, West Bengal to Bahrain, Madurai Malli (Jasmine) from Tamil Nadu to the United States, Marayoor jaggery from Kerala to UAE.