India’s agricultural and processed food products exports are set to exceed the target of $23 billion in FY22 thanks to a sharp spike in shipments of rice, wheat, fresh & processed fruits and vegetables, and livestock products.
Exports of commodities under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) basket have crossed $21.45 billion during April-February (FY22). In FY21, agricultural and processed food products were valued at $20.39 billion.
According to the DGCIS data, rice exports crossed $8.67 billion in the first 11 months of FY22. India has been the world’s largest rice exporter in the last decade — export earnings stood at a record $8.7 billion in FY21 and could cross $9 billion this fiscal. India exports rice to more than 90 countries.
The country is likely to continue holding a major share of global rice trade in the current fiscal, with an estimated shipment of 21 million tonne, an increase of more than 24% from the previous financial year. The country’s rice exports in the current financial year is likely more than the combined exports of the next three largest exporters — Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan.
Wheat exports in FY22 so far have witnessed the sharpest spike of 380% to $1.74 billion compared to the year-ago period. The country had been a relatively marginal player in global wheat trade until FY21, but the prospects now looks very bright given the elevated global prices and ample domestic stocks and production. The government is targeting increasing wheat exports in FY23 on the rising global demand due to the Russia and Ukraine conflict.
“During Covid-19 pandemic, while many countries were stockpiling their rice and wheat output, we took a proactive role in organising logistics and developing value chains which has given a boost to cereal exports,” M Angamuthu, chairman, APEDA, told FE.
During April-January (FY22), exports of meat, dairy and poultry products rose by 13% to $3.4 billion compared to $3 billion a year ago.
Fresh fruits and vegetables exports in the first 10 months of FY22 rose by 16% to $1.2 billion, while the processed fruits and vegetables shipment rose by around 11% to $1.2 billion compared to same period in FY21.
Apeda is giving a thrust to exports of cereals as well as those unique and Geographical Identification (GI) certified agri produce from various states. Darjeeling Tea and Basmati Rice are the two most popular GI-tagged agricultural products of India, which have already created a niche global market. However, officials said, there are many more GI-tagged products from various states whose exports potential could be harnessed.
Angamuthu said Apeda has initiated registration of pack-houses for horticulture products to meet the quality requirements of the international market. Registration of export units for peanut shelling and grading and processing units, for instance, is to ensure quality adherence for the European Union and non-EU countries.
Apeda basket of products exclude marine products, tobacco, coffee and spices.
The export promotion body has taken several initiatives to promote GI-registered agricultural and processed food products in India by organising virtual buyer-seller meets with the major importing countries across the world.
In order to ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, the export promotion body has recognised 220 labs across India to provide services of testing a wide range of products and exporters.