In a major boost to export prospects of agricultural produce, India registered a significant surge in export of agricultural and processed food products in April-October of current Financial Year, 2021-22, in comparison to the corresponding seven-month period of last year fiscal, 2020-21.
According to the Quick Estimates released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the overall export of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) products witnessed 14.7% growth in terms of USD during April-October 2021 over the same period of the previous year.
The overall export of APEDA products increased from US$ 10,157 million in April-October 2020 to US$ 11,651million in April-October 2021.
This rise in exports has been achieved notwithstanding COVID-19 restrictions. The significant rise in agri-exports is seen as a testimony of the government's commitment to increase farmers' income by giving a thrust on boosting exports of the country's agricultural and processed food products.
The significant jump in exports of agricultural and processed food products during the first seven months of the current fiscal is in continuation of growth in exports witnessed in the financial year 2020-21.
The export of rice, which recorded a positive growth of 10.5%, increased from US$ 4777.35 million in April-October 2020 to USD 5278.95 million in April-October 2021.
As per the Quick Estimates, the exports of fresh fruits & vegetables registered 11.6% growth in terms of USD, while shipment of processed food products like cereals preparations and miscellaneous processed items reported a growth of 29%. In April-October 2020-21, fresh fruits and vegetables were exported to the tune of US$ 1374.59 million, which rose to US$ 1534.05 million in April-October 2021-22.
India reported a significant 85.4% jump in the export of other cereals, while the export of meat, dairy & poultry products witnessed an increase 15.6% in the first seven months of the current fiscal (2021-22).
The export of other cereals increased from US$ 274.98 million in April-October 2020 to US$ 509.77 million in April-October 2021 and the export of meat, dairy and poultry products increased from US$ 1978.6 million in April-October 2020 to US$ 2286.32 million in April-October 2021.
The cashew export witnessed a growth of 29.2% in April-October 2021 as the export of cashew rose from US$ 205.29 million in April-October 2020 to US$ 265.27 million in April-October 2021.
The initiatives taken by APEDA, which functions under the Ministry of Commerce, have helped the country achieve this milestone when most of the business activities suffered a huge setback due to the restrictions imposed after the outbreak of second wave COVID19 pandemic.
"We continue to focus on creating infrastructure for exports from eastern, north-eastern regions and hilly states, where infrastructure was earlier not adequate," said Dr M Angamuthu, chairman, APEDA.
The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products is because of APEDA's various initiatives for the export promotion of agricultural and processed food products, such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries and exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns by active involvement of Indian Embassies.
The APEDA has also taken several initiatives to promote products with registered geographical indications (GI) in India by organizing virtual Buyer Seller Meets on agricultural and food products with UAE and GI products, including handicrafts with USA. APEDA is continuing with the initiative of conducting Virtual Buyer Seller Meets (VBSM) with potential importing Countries to popularize the GI products of major agricultural commodities exported.
In order to ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, APEDA has recognized 220 labs across India to provide testing services to a wide range of products and exporters.
APEDA also assists in the upgradation and strengthening of recognized laboratories for export testing and residue monitoring plans. APEDA also assists in the financial assistance schemes of infrastructure development, quality improvement, and market development to boost agricultural products' export.
APEDA organizes the participation of exporters in the International Trade Fairs, which provides a platform to the exporters to market their food products in the global marketplace. APEDA also organizes National events like AAHAR, Organic World Congress, BioFach India etc. to promote agri-exports.
APEDA also initiates the registration of pack-houses for horticulture products to meet the international market's quality requirements. For instance, registration of exports units for peanut shelling and grading and processing units is to ensure quality adherence for the EU and non EU countries.
APEDA carries out registration of meat processing plants and abattoirs for ensuring compliance with the global food safety and quality requirements. Another key initiative includes developing and implementing 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 address trade enquiries.