India’s agriculture exports grew by 17.34% in 2020-21 despite Covid: Govt

at 7:15 pm
food industry
Representational/file image

New Delhi: Despite the Covid pandemic, India’s export of agriculture and allied products, including marine and plantation products, registered an increase of 17.34 percent in the year 2020-21 after remaining almost stagnant for the last three years, the government said today.

In INR terms, the increase is 22.62 percent, with exports during 2020-21 amounting to Rs. 3.05 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 2.49 lakh crore during 2019-20, said Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan during an interaction with journalists here.

He noted that the export of agriculture and allied products had remained almost stagnant for the past three years — USD 38.43 billion in 2017-18, USD 38.74 billion in 2018-19 and USD 35.16 billion 2019-20.

During the year 2020-21, the export jumped to USD 41.25 billion, marking an increase of 17.34 percent, he said.

India’s agricultural and allied imports during 2019-20 were USD 20.64 billion, and the corresponding figures for 2020-21 are USD 20.67 billion.

Despite COVID-19, balance of trade in agriculture has improved by 42.16 percent from USD 14.51 billion to USD 20.58 billion, he said.

For agriculture products (excluding marine and plantation products), the growth is 28.36 percent with exports of USD 29.81 billion in 2020-21 as compared to USD 23.23 billion in 2019-20, Wadhawan said.

India has been able to take advantage of the increased demand for staples during the COVID-19 period, the Commerce Secretary said.

Huge growth has been seen in export of cereals with export of non-basmati rice growing by 136.04 percent to USD 4794.54 million; wheat by 774.17 percent to USD 549.16 million; and other cereals (Millets, Maize and other coarse gains) by 238.28 percent to USD 694.14 million.

Other agricultural products, which registered significant increase in exports, as compared to 2019-20, were oil meals (USD 1575.34 million — growth of 90.28 percent), sugar (USD 2789.97 million — growth 41.88 percent), raw cotton (USD 1897.20 million — growth 79.43 percent), fresh vegetables (USD 721.47 million — growth 10.71 percent) and vegetable oils (USD 602.77 million — growth 254.39 percent) etc.

Largest markets for India’s agriculture products are USA, China, Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran and Malaysia, he said.

Exports to most of these destinations have registered growth, with highest growth being recorded for Indonesia (102.42 percent), Bangladesh (95.93 percent) and Nepal (50.49 percent).

Export of spices like ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, saffron etc., which have known therapeutic qualities, has also grown substantially.

During 2020-21, export of pepper increased by 28.72 percent to USD 1269.38 million; cinnamon by 64.47 percent to USD 11.25 million; nutmeg, mace and cardamom by 132.03 percent (USD 189.34 million vs USD 81.60 million); and ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves etc. by 35.44 percent  to USD 570.63 million. Export of spices touched highest ever level of around USD 4 billion during 2020-21.