By Priti Naik
India has marked yet another milestone by achieving the highest-ever exports of agricultural products for the year 2021-22. The agricultural products include marine and plantation products and has surpassed the $50 billion mark, the most for agricultural exports.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, agricultural exports grew by 19.92 per cent during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 billion. The growth is noteworthy as in 2020-21, India witnessed a 17.66 per cent growth at $41.87 billion.
India, which is among the top wheat producing countries, recorded an unprecedented growth of more than 273 per cent in wheat exports. It jumped nearly four-fold from $568 million in 2020-21 to touch close to $2119 million in 2021-22. Recently, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said that India is aiming to export a record 10 million tonne of wheat in 2022-23.
In a cheer for farmers in the coastal states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat, India also saw the export of marine products at $7.71 billion, which is also the highest-ever. Coffee exports also crossed $1 billion for the first time, benefitting the coffee growers in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The achievements in exports are the result of sustained efforts on the part of the Department of Commerce and its various export promotion agencies like APEDA, MPEDA and various commodity boards. The Department has made special efforts to engage State Governments and district administrations in promoting agricultural exports.
Meanwhile, a Farmer Connect Portal has also been set up for providing a platform for farmers, FPOs/FPCs, cooperatives to interact with exporters. This has resulted in agriculture exports taking place from hitherto unexplored areas like Varanasi (fresh vegetables, mangoes), Ananthpur (banana), Nagpur (orange), Lucknow (mango), Theni (banana), Solapur (pomegranate), Krishna & Chittoor (mango) etc.