India’s export of agricultural and allied products in 2020-21 grew by 17.34 per cent to $ 41.25 billion. 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. 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.
As for the overall farm exports, the country recorded impressive growth, despite the logistical and operational challenges posed by the pandemic, as demand for staples jumped. Exports of agriculture and allied products (including marine and plantation products) rose to $41.25 billion in FY21 from $35.16 billion a year before, Wadhawan said. Such exports had remained stagnant for two years — $38.43 billion in FY18 and $38.74 billion in FY19 – before declining in FY20.
Bumper harvest of certain crops, especially grains, sustained efforts by exporters in challenging times, attractive prices abroad and push by the government through various initiatives — including a farm export policy, setting up of clusters and easier compliance—boosted exports.
Exports of non-basmati rice jumped 136% to $4,794.54 million; wheat by 774% to $549 million; and other cereals (millets, maize and other coarse gains) by 238% to $694 million. Other farm commodities that posted substantial increase in exports were sugar (42% to $2,790 million), raw cotton (79% to $1,897 million), oil meals (90% to $1,575 million), fresh vegetables (11% to 721 million) and vegetable oils (254% to $603 million).
The US remained the largest market for Indian farm products, followed by China, Bangladesh, the UAE and Vietnam.
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.