While the country continues to struggle with Covid in almost every state, the export sector remains buoyant, thanks to some specific booming sectors. We discuss a few positive trends in the agricultural sector this week with new markets being created with the diversification of trade in mangoes and organic millets trade. Agricultural sector as a whole has seen an uptick with favourable factors such as a healthy monsoon and rising commodity prices. But, with covid 19 slowly seeping into the rural areas of the country, unlike previous year, where most cases were clustered in the urban areas, shipments might be expected to be affected. India’s total monthly exports almost tripled in April 2021 as compared with April 2020, mostly because Indian exports were more severely affected in the first wave of the pandemic when the country went into a national lockdown.
We discuss some of the updates from this week below.
India’s exports jump to $30.63 billion in April; trade deficit at $15.1 billion (Source)
Data released by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry on Friday showed that India’s exports in April jumped nearly three-fold to $30.63 billion from $10.36 billion in the same month last year. Imports too rose to $45.72 billion last month as against $17.12 billion in April 2020, the data showed
The sharp rise in exports and imports seen in April was due to a low base in trade volumes in the same period last year as the country was put under a national lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
India looks beyond Alphonso, to push other mango exports (Source)
India, the world’s largest mango producer, is looking to diversify its basket for exports and will push varieties from North India, while also resuming shipments to the US.
“We are looking to push a number of varieties such as Langda, Dussehri, Himsagarand Zardalu. Currently, our exports are dominated by Alphonso and Kesar but there is a lot of demand for other varieties too, given the diaspora across the globe as well as from others,” said M Angamuthu, chairman of the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. There is also an effort to diversify the markets beyond the strongholds of the UAE, the EU and Nepal, with Japan, South Korea, Australia and Mauritius also on the radar. Although India is the largest producer, Mexico and even Pakistan command a higher share of the export market, which India is trying to capture
India exports organic millets grown in Himalayas to Denmark (Source)
Organic products exports: the first consignment of millets grown in the Himalayas from snow-melt water of Ganges in Dev Bhoomi, Uttarakhand will be exported to Denmark.
APEDA, together with Uttarakhand Agriculture Produce Marketing Board (UKAPMB) and Just Organik has sourced and processed finger millet or ragi and barnyard millet or jhingora from Uttarakhand farmers for exports that meets the organic certification standards of the EU.
The UKAPMB purchased millets directly from the farmers that have been processed in the state-of-art processing unit made by mandi board and run by Just Organik. Uttarakhand has been supporting organic cultivation and UKAPMB helps thousands of farmers in getting organic certification.
Agricultural exports zoom 17.5% in 2020-21, Pandemic raises questions on repeat performance this year (Source)
India’s agricultural exports grew 17.5 per cent to cross $41.8 billion in 2020-21. This came even as the country’s overall merchandise exports fell 7.2 per cent to $290.8 billion, from $313.4 billion in 2019-20. The farm sector’s standout export performance, the best since the $43.25 billion of 2013-14, was thanks to a good monsoon, agriculture production being relatively unaffected by the Covid-19-induced lockdown, and a steep surge in global commodity prices. It is also in line with GDP numbers: Agricultural growth for 2020-21 is estimated at 3 per cent, even as the Indian economy contracted by 6.5 per cent.
Whether the same story can be repeated this year, however, remains to be seen: The Met Department has forecast a normal southwest monsoon, while the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s world food price index hit an 83-month-high in April. But the pandemic’s spread to the rural hinterland – unlike last year, when cases were predominantly reported from urban centres – could impact shipments from India, at least temporarily.
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