India’s exports of cereals — rice, wheat and coarse cereals — rose by 52% in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, according to the state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
The total exports of cereals during the period rose to $4.5 billion, accounting for 48.6% of the total export of agricultural products from India.
Exports of basmati rice rose by 5.3% during the same comparative period. The major markets for the shipments of the aromatic and long grain rice include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and European countries.
The exports of non-basmati rice during the period surged even more strongly, witnessing a growth of 122.61% and accounted for a share of 22.3 % of the total basked of agriculture exports .
The major destinations include Nepal, Benin Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Europe and the United States among others.
Exports of wheat during the period rose by as much as 456.41% to $48 million. Though the percentage growth is impressive, the share of wheat in total exports is only about 1.84%.
Though India ranks among the world’s largest wheat producers, it consumes most of the grain that it produces.
Coarse grains shine
Shipments of millets, maize and other coarse grains during the period rose by as much as 189%, cumulatively accounting for a share of around 3% in the total exports of agriculture produce.
APEDA said that prompt measures to support exports enabled it to record the sharp growth spike in sale of commodities like rice, even though supply chains worldwide were disrupted due to the pandemic.
“We took several measures in terms of ensuring safety and hygiene because of the operational and health challenges posed by Covid-19, while ensuring that rice exports continue uninterrupted,” said Dr Madhaiyaan Angamuthu, chairman of APEDA.
For further boosting rice exports, the government has started the Rice Export Promotion Forum under the aegis of APEDA.