We ensured supplies were not disrupted due to lockdown as all concerned government agencies provided necessary support to exporters and facilitated physical movement.

After registering a 24% increase to close to $20 billion in exports of 37 agriculture and processed products promoted by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) during FY21, the government’s agri export body is eyeing at least 10-15% jump in such exports this year.

“Export of bovine meat, dairy products, nutri cereals, processed food (conventional, organic and geographical indications) products, fresh fruits and vegetables are expected to increase more during 2021-22,” M Angamuthu, chairman of Apeda, told FE. Demand for wheat, non-basmati rice and other cereals is also likely to rise further, Angamuthu said.

According to latest data, exports of Apeda products basket registered a 23.8% growth at $19.97 billion (`1,47,814 crore) during 2020-21 against $16.13 billion during 2019-20. While the non-basmati rice segment more than doubled to $4.8 billion, even higher than basmati, there is a drop of 7% to $4 billion in shipments of aromatic varieties in value terms.

“With the continuous endeavour of Apeda in export promotional activities and follow-up with exporters, trade associations, various ministries/departments of the Centre and states and Indian high commissions/embassies abroad, there are good prospects of further growth in export of at least 10-15% in the current fiscal,” Angamuthu said.

There were several factors, including increased demand for Indian products, that contributed to the growth. Moreover, an increase in global prices of some products helped Indian exporters to realise higher. For instance, there was a 6% fall in shipments of buffalo meat in terms of quantity. But the per tonne realisation value went up to $2,921 during FY21 from $2,754 in FY20 that helped overall export of buffalo meat to be at the previous year level of $3.17 billion.

Indian exporters, supported by Apeda, tapped the opportunities that emerged during the Covid pandemic, said an expert. For non-basmati rice, Bangladesh had issued a quota of 4,00,000 tonne which Indian exporters supplied. Due to lower production, India’s main competitor Vietnam, too, imported rice, the expert said, adding this was possible because the country has also record rice production of 120 million tonne, creating huge surplus after meeting domestic demand of about 80 million tonne. Similarly, there was good demand of Ethyl alcohol from African countries that helped raise export of overall alcoholic beverages by 43% to $330 million.

“We ensured supplies were not disrupted due to lockdown as all concerned government agencies provided necessary support to exporters and facilitated physical movement. While regulatory compliances were minimised, there was no compromise on quality,” Angamuthu said.

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