Notwithstanding COVID19 induced challenges, India records close to 22% rise in export of agricultural and processed food products in April-August (2021-22)

IAS Prelims 2023

In a major boost to export prospects of agricultural produce, India has achieved a significant increase of 21.8 percent in export of agricultural and processed food products in the 2021-22 (April-August) in comparison to the corresponding period of 2020-21.

According to the Quick Estimates released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the overall export of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) products has witnessed 21.8 percent growth in terms of USD during April-August 2021 over the same period of the previous year.

The overall export of APEDA products increased from USD 6485 million in April-August 2020 to USD 7902 million in April-August 2021.

This rise in exports has been achieved notwithstanding Covid-19 restrictions. The significant spike in agri-exports is seen as a testimony of the government’s commitment to increase farmers’ income through giving thrust on boosting exports of agricultural and processed food products of the country.

The huge jump in exports of agricultural and processed food products during the first five months of current fiscal is in continuation of growth in exports witnessed in the financial year 2020-21. According to WTO’s trade map, with the total agri-exports of USD 37 billion in the year 2019, India is ranked at 9th position in the world ranking.

The export of rice, which recorded a positive growth of 13.7 percent, increased from USD 3359 million in April-August 2020 to USD 3820 million in April-August 2021.

As per the Quick Estimates, the exports of fresh fruits & vegetables registered a 6.1 percent growth in terms of USD, while shipment of processed food products like cereals preparations and miscellaneous processed items reported a growth of 41.9 percent. In April-August 2020-21, fresh fruits and vegetables were exported to the tune of USD 1013 million which rose to USD 1075 million in April-August 2021-22.

India reported a significant 142.1 percent jump in export of other cereals while the export of meat, dairy & poultry products witnessed an increase 31.1 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal (2021-22).

The export of other cereals increased from USD 157 million in April-August 2020 to USD 379 million in April-August 2021 and the export of meat, dairy and poultry products increased from USD 1185 million in April-August 2020 to USD 1554 million in April-August 2021.

The cashew export witnessed a growth of 28.5 percent in April-August 2021 as the export of cashew rose from USD 144 million in April-August 2020 to USD 185 million in April-August 2021.

The initiatives taken by APEDA, which functions under the Ministry of Commerce, has helped the country achieve this milestone at a time when most of the business activities suffered a huge setback due to the restrictions imposed after the outbreak of second wave of the COVID19 pandemic.

The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products is because of APEDA’s various initiatives taken for the export promotion of agricultural and processed food products such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product specific and general marketing campaigns by active involvement of Indian Embassies.

The APEDA has also taken several initiatives to promote products having registered geographical indications (GI) in India by organizing virtual Buyer Seller Meets on agricultural and food products with UAE and on GI products, including handicrafts with USA. APEDA is continuing with the initiative of conducting Virtual Buyer Seller Meets (VBSM) with potential importing Countries to popularize the GI products of major agricultural commodities exported.

In order to ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, APEDA has recognized 220 labs across India to provide services of testing to a wide range of products and exporters.

APEDA also assists in up-gradation and strengthening of recognized laboratories for export testing and residue monitoring plans. APEDA also provides assistance under the financial assistance schemes of infrastructure development, quality improvement and market development for boosting export of agricultural products.

APEDA organizes participation of exporters in the International Trade Fairs, which provides a platform to the exporters to market their food products in the global marketplace. APEDA also organizes National events like AAHAR, Organic World Congress, BioFach India etc. to promote agri-exports.

APEDA also initiates registration of pack-houses for horticulture products for meeting the quality requirements of the international market. Registration of exports units for peanut shelling and grading and processing units, for instance is to ensure quality adherence for the EU and non EU countries.

APEDA carries out registration of meat processing plants and abattoirs for ensuring compliance with the global food safety and quality requirements. Another key initiative includes development and implementation of traceability systems which ensure the food safety and quality compliances of the importing countries. For boosting exports, APEDA compiles and disseminates various international trade analytical information, market access information amongst exporters and address trade enquiries.



India’s Export Comparative Statement: APEDA Products


Product Head

April-August, 2020-21

April-August, 2021-22

% Change (April-August,2021)


Rs. Crore

USD Million

Rs. Crore

USD Million



Fruits & Vegetables







Cereal preparations & Miscellaneous processed items







Meat, dairy & poultry products














Other cereals





















Source: DGCIS, Quick Estimates for April-August,2021





    Source PIB