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Farm exports could grow 20% in 2021-22, say exporters


Higher demand for sugar from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and for non-basmati rice from new buyers such as Malaysia and the Philippines along with a spurt in inquiries for vegetables in the Middle East, have made exporters hopeful of a 20% rise in farm exports this fiscal.

Officials said enquires for fresh and dehydrated garlic, spices such as chilli, turmeric, ginger, seed spices such as cumin and fennel, and sesame seeds and oil are also on the rise.

“The export pipeline looks healthy and the trend is positive. Besides the traditional large markets, we are seeing traction and new opportunities in Africa, the Middle East and SouthEast Asia,” said M Angamuthu, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

The country’s food sector is witnessing a rise in demand from the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Palestine and Egypt. Similarly, both Peru and Argentina have provided market access for India’s basmati rice exports. The country has also gained market access for fresh mango in Argentina and exports are expected to begin this year.

FARM GROWTH

  • India’s agri exports robust, high demand for medicinal, herbal extracts
  • Middle East, Japan, US demand millets, honey, moringa
  • Higher demand for sugar from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan
  • APEDA expects 20% rise in FY22 exports
  • Localised Covid-19 restrictions unlikely to hinder exports
  • Protein-rich cheese, egg powder also key drivers
  • Basmati rice exports to Peru, Argentina to begin soon
  • SE Asia finds interest in garlic, chilli, turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel

“There is a sudden spike in demand for herbal and medicinal extracts such as ginger, turmeric and moringa from the Middle East, Japan and the US,” Angamuthu said, adding that Indian millets are also finding takers abroad.

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Red rice, Joha rice, neutri-cereals or millets, honey and egg powder are the other growth drivers, as per APEDA.

India’s agricultural exports rose around 23% in FY21 to around $20 billion even as the overall exports in FY21 contracted 7.3% to $290.6 billion.

However, officials said that the restrictions imposed by various states to control the Covid-19 pandemic are unlikely to hinder exports.

“While localised lockdowns may impact production slightly but export consignments are not feeling the impact as of now. We expect at least 20% growth in food exports,” said an official.

India now exports fresh and processed food to almost 180 countries across the world.

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