India's agriculture exports have beaten the pandemic registering a growth of 17.34% to $ 41.25 billion in 2020-21, a top official of the Indian commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Speaking to the media, commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan said that excellent growth of Agri exports in FY21 has come after it remained stagnant for the past three years - $38.43 billion in 2017-18, $38.74 billion in 2018-19 and $35.16 billion 2019-20, reports the Economic Times.
India's agricultural and allied imports during 2019-20 were $20.64 billion, and the corresponding figures for 2020-21 are $20.67 billion. Despite Covid-19, the balance of trade in agriculture has improved by 42.16% from $14.51 billion to $20.58 billion.
For agriculture products - excluding marine and plantation products, the growth is 28.36% with exports of $29.81 billion in 2020-21 as compared to $23.23 billion in 2019-20. India has been able to take advantage of the increased demand for staples during the Covid-19 period.
Huge growth has been seen in export of cereals with export of non-basmati rice growing by 136.04% to $4794.54 million; wheat by 774.17% to $549.16 million; and other cereals by 238.28% to $694.14 million.
The largest markets for India's agriculture products are the USA, China, Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran and Malaysia. Exports to most of these destinations have registered growth, with the highest growth being recorded for Indonesia (102.42%), Bangladesh (95.93%) and Nepal (50.49%).
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% to $1269.38 million; cinnamon by 64.47% to $11.25 million; nutmeg, mace and cardamom by 132.03% ($189.34 million vs $81.60 million); and ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves etc. by 35.44% to $570.63 million. Export of spices touched the highest ever level of around $4billion during 2020-21.