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Last updated: 26 Jul, 2021  

Wheat.9.Thmb.jpg Farm exports: On firm ground

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Bikky Khosla | 26 Jul, 2021

India's agriculture exports during 2020-21 have increased by over 17% as compared to exports during 2019-20, according to latest data tabled in the Parliament. This data is encouraging. For the previous 3 years, exports by the sector remained stagnant --$38.43 billion in 2017-18, $38.74 billion in 2018-19 and $35.16 billion 2019-20, but in 2020-21, the amount increased to $41.25 billion.

A deeper look shows that exports of agriculture products (excluding marine and plantation products) grew 28.36% to $29.81 billion in 2020-21. This indicates that we have successfully taken advantage of the increased demand for staples during the COVID-19 period. Healthy growth has been seen in exports of non-basmati rice, wheat, millets, maize, oil meals, sugar, raw cotton, fresh vegetables and vegetable oils, organic products, spices, etc.

It is notable that during 2020-21, exports have taken place from several clusters for the first time, such as of fresh vegetables and mangoes from Varanasi, black Rice from Chandauli, oranges from Nagpur, mango from Lucknow, etc. Fresh horticulture produces were exported via multimodal mode to Dubai, London, etc. Handholding by the Department also enabled North East farmers to send their value-added products beyond the Indian borders. This trend is encouraging.

Additionally, while exports to most of our traditional markets like USA, China, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia have registered healthy growth, we also have explored some new markets during the year. Most notably, rice has been exported to countries like Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, etc. for the first time. Similarly, wheat has been exported to Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan, etc. Such market diversification augurs well for the sector.

I invite your opinions.

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