Apr 10:India’s Agri exports crossed USD 50 billion for the year 2021-22, notwithstanding logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of high freight rates, container shortages, etc. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has scripted a new history by exporting agricultural and processed food products to the tune of USD 25.6 billion, which is 51 per cent of India’s total agriculture exports of USD 50 billion.
Besides, the APEDA has also surpassed its own export target of USD 23.7 billion for the financial year 2021-22 by registering shipments of USD 25.6 billion.
As per the provisional figures released by DGCI&S, the agricultural exports have grown by 19.92 per cent from 2021-to 22 to touch USD 50.21 billion. The growth rate is remarkable as it is over and above the growth of 17.66 per cent at USD 41.87 billion achieved in 2020-21 and has been achieved in spite of unprecedented logistical challenges in the form of high freight rates, container shortages, etc. The export of APEDA scheduled products export may be seen in Graph-1. It depicts the comparative export of APEDA products for the current year, 2021-22 and the previous year 2020-21. The cereal sector in APEDA exports contributes more than 52 per cent share in 2021-22. Livestock products and other processed foods contribute 17 and 15 per cent to APEDA export respectively in 2021-22.
The historic achievement over the past two years will go a long way in realising Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of enhancing farmers’ income.
Compared to total agricultural export, APEDA’s exports registered 16 per cent growth when they touched USD 25.6 billion in 2021-22 from USD 22.03 billion in 2020-21. The highest growth rate recorded by APEDA products (more than 30 per cent) in 2021-22 corresponding to the previous year may be seen in Graph-2.
According to the DGCI&S data, the export of rice was the top forex earner at USD 9654 million during 2021-22, growing 9.35 per cent from the previous year when it touched USD 8829 million.
The export of wheat touched an all-time high at USD 2118 million in 2021-22, growing 273 per cent from 2020-21 when it touched USD 567 million, while other cereals registered a growth of 53 per cent by fetching USD 1083 million in 2021-22 in comparison to the previous financial year when it touched USD 705 million.
Export of pulses reported a growth of 34 per cent touching USD 358 million in 2021-22 from USD 265 million in 2020-21.
Dairy products grew over by 96 per cent standing at USD 634 million in 2021-22 from USD 323 million in 2020-21, while buffalo meat registered a growth of just 4 per cent as export of bovine meat increased from USD 3171 million in 2020-21 to USD 3303 million in 2021-22.
Export of poultry products rose to USD 71 million in 2021-22 from USD 58 million in the previous year and sheep/goat meat export is up by 34 per cent to USD 60 million in 2021-22 from USD 44 million in the previous year.
Fruits and vegetables exports were up by 12 per cent to touch USD 1676 million in 2021-22 against USD 1492 million in 2020-21, while processed fruits and vegetable exports were up by 7 per cent to reach USD 1202 million in 2021-22 against USD 1120 million in the previous year.
Exports of other processed food items grew by 34 per cent during 2021-22 to touch USD 1164 million against USD 866 million in 2020-21. The cashew exports also grew by 7 per cent to USD 452 million in 2021-22 from USD 420 million in the previous year. Floriculture products reported a rise of 33 per cent when it touched USD 103 million in 2021-22 from USD 77 million in 2020-21.
The significant rise in agri-exports is seen as a testimony of the government’s commitment to enhance farmers’ income by giving a thrust on boosting exports of agricultural and processed food products.
The rise in the export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by the Centre through APEDA such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries and exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns through the active involvement of Indian Embassies.
The government organized more than 300 outreach programmes in collaboration with state governments for enhancing the exports of agricultural produce.
“We have also created a products matrix for 50 agricultural products which have good scope for expanding our exports portfolios,” said Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA.
The Centre has also taken several initiatives to promote geographical indications (GI) registered with agricultural and processed food products in India by organizing virtual Buyer Seller Meets on agricultural and food products with the major importing countries across the world.
In order to ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, the government has recognized 220 labs across India to provide services of testing to a wide range of products to exporters.
Centre, through APEDA also assists in the up-gradation and strengthening of recognized laboratories for export testing and residue monitoring plans. APEDA also provides assistance under the financial assistance schemes of infrastructure development, quality improvement and market development for boosting the export of agricultural products.
The participation of exporters in the International Trade Fairs was organized, which provides a platform for the exporters to market their food products in the global marketplace. National events like AAHAR, Organic World Congress, BioFach India etc. were organized to promote agri-exports.
Government, through the aegis of APEDA also initiates the registration of pack-houses for horticulture products for meeting the quality requirements of the international market. Registration of export units for peanut shelling, grading and processing units, for instance, is to ensure quality adherence for the EU and non-EU countries.
APEDA also carries out registration of meat processing plants and abattoirs for ensuring compliance with global food safety and quality requirements. Another key initiative includes the development and implementation of traceability systems that ensure the food safety and quality compliances of the importing countries.
For boosting exports, APEDA compiles and disseminates various international trade analytical information, market access information amongst exporters and addresses trade enquiries.
As part of the PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan, APEDA is collaborating with various ministries including railways and roadways for enhancing connectivity through faster transportation of agricultural products, as they are perishable in nature so it requires immediate and fast delivery to their destination from the production points.
“The government has been focussing on boosting exports from Purvanchal, Himalayan, NER states, J&K and Ladakh,” Dr Angamuthu, said.
In line with the government’s Digital India policy, APEDA has implemented several new digital technology-based initiatives which have played a key role in enabling agricultural exports worth $ 25 billion under its basket in 2021-22.
APEDA has adopted multiple world-class technology and software in the IT division such as Blockchain technology implemented in hornet traceability, Farmer Connect Portal, Geographical Indications (GI) Promotion Portal, Mobile App, iTrack System, TraceNet, Organic Promotional Portal, Agriexchange App, and Cloud Migration etc.
Given that the demand for natural products is growing and consumers demand greater quantities of foods, cosmetics and medicines that contain natural ingredients, the Centre is in the process to formulate a strategy for the promotion of the export of natural farming products in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture to develop the standards for production along with certification system.
A Farmer Connect Portal has also been set up on APEDA’s website to provide a platform for Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs) or Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), Cooperatives and women entrepreneurs to interact with exporters. Around 3,295 FPOs and FPCs and 3,315 exporters have been registered in the portal so far. More than 24 lakh organic farmers registered with APEDA. India is the leading producer of organic products in the world.
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