India's agriculture exports this fiscal are expected to touch last year's level of USD 53 billion despite restrictions imposed on shipments of certain key commodities, including rice, wheat and sugar, according to a senior government official.
The official said that the export ban and restrictions on these commodities may hit exports of about USD 4-5 billion this fiscal.
In 2022-23, the country's agri exports stood at USD 53 billion.
"We expect that we would reach that level in spite of USD 4.5 billion-USD 5 billion impact due to the restrictions," Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Rajesh Agrawal told reporters here on Thursday.
The government has prohibited exports of wheat and non-basmati white rice and has imposed curbs on sugar exports.
He said the government is promoting exports of new products like bananas and value-added millet products to new global destinations.
"In the next three years, we are hoping to increase banana exports to USD 1 billion," he said, adding as India has successfully developed sea protocols for bananas, the exercise will be done for more fruits to boost the country’s exports in this segment.
India is developing sea protocols for various fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, mangoes, pomegranates and jackfruit to promote their exports through ocean routes.
At present, most of these exports are happening by air route because of lower volumes and different ripening periods.
The protocol includes understanding voyage time, scientifically understanding the ripening of these commodities, harvesting at a particular time and training of farmers. These protocols will be different for different fruits and vegetables..
Exports of fruits and vegetables, cereals, meat, dairy and poultry products registered a healthy growth rate during April-November.
Rice exports, however, declined 7.65 per cent to USD 6.5 billion during the same period.
New products which are now being exported from India include hog plums and cranberry from Varanasi; coconut Neera from Tirupur; and potato from Aligarh.
“India now supplies fresh fruits to 111 countries,” APEDA Chairman Abhishek Dev said.