Agri exports zoom 17% to $41.25 bn
Huge growth has been seen in the export of cereals, non-basmati rice, wheat, millets, maize and other coarse grains
New Delhi : INDIA's export of agricultural and allied products in 2020-21 grew by 17.34 per cent to $41.25 billion, and this growth momentum is expected to be sustained in the current fiscal as well, a top government official said on Thursday.
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said huge growth has been seen in the export of cereals, non-basmati rice, wheat, millets, maize and other coarse grains. The largest markets for India's agricultural products are the US, China, Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran and Malaysia. He also said that exports have taken place from several clusters for the first time, for instance, the export of fresh vegetables and mangoes from Varanasi, and black rice from Chandauli.
Exports of only agricultural products (excluding marine and plantation products) increased by 28.36 per cent to $29.81 billion in 2020-21 as compared to $23.23 billion in 2019-20. "Agriculture Exports have performed well during 2020-21. After remaining stagnant for the past three years ($38.43 billion in 2017-18, $38.74 billion in 2018-19 and $35.16 billion 2019-20), the exports of agriculture and allied products (including marine and plantation products) during 2020-21 jumped to $41.25 billion, an increase of 17.34 per cent," Wadhwan said.
Further, as many as 18 states - including Maharashtra, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, and Karnataka - have finalised their specific action plan to implement the Agri export policy. As part of the policy, 46 unique product-district clusters have been identified for export promotion and 29 cluster level committees have been formed.
The Department of Commerce has been making efforts, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, for gaining market access for Indian products. India has recently gained market access for pomegranate in Australia; mango and Basmati rice in Argentina; carrot seeds in Iran; wheat flour, basmati rice, mango, banana and soybean oilcake in Uzbekistan; tomato, okra and onion in Bhutan; and oranges in Serbia.
The commerce ministry in a statement said that pesticide residue problems have affected Basmati rice exports to the European Union due to stringent norms imposed by the EU for chemicals like Tricyclazole and Buprofezin, which are extensively used in rice cultivation in India.
Export Inspection Council (EIC) testing has been made mandatory for Basmati exports to the EU, which led to a decrease in the number of alerts. "As a result, Punjab imposed a ban on the sale of 9 chemicals, including tricyclazole and buprofezin, during the Kharif season 2020," it added. Efforts are also being made to ensure that the process for fixing Import Tolerance Limits (ITLs) for Tricyclazole and Buprofezin by the EU is not delayed.
When asked about SEIS (Services Exports from India Scheme), Wadhwan said when the department would make a new foreign trade policy, "what we need to do for services will be taken into account based on stakeholder feedback and other inputs". Appropriate schemes and measures will be there for the sector, he added.