India expands cereal export footprints by shipping rice, wheat and other cereals to newer destinations
New Delhi, June 24, 2021
India’s quest for expanding the footprint of cereals exports through exploring new opportunities in countries or markets has started to yield results.
The sharp spike in exports of rice (basmati and non-basmati), wheat and other cereals in 2020-21 is attributed to the synergy and collaboration between various stakeholders – farmers, millers, exporters and government agencies in boosting exports.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), in collaboration with the stakeholders, has been exploring new opportunities through ensuring market access, adherence to products qualities and phytosanitary measures for cereal products.
In terms of rice (basmati as well as non-basmati) exports especially in 2020-21, India shipped non-basmati rice to nine countries -- Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Eswatini, Myanmar and Nicaragua, where exports were carried for the first time or earlier the shipment was smaller in volume, an official press release said.
The total volume of export of rice to these nine countries was only 188 metric tonne and 197 metric tonnes in 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively, while the volume shipment rose to 1.53 lakh tonnes in 2020-21.
In the case of wheat, India exported a substantial quantity of grain to seven new countries -- Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan, Philippines, Iran, Cambodia and Myanmar -- during 2020-21, the release said.
In the previous financial years, only small quantities of wheat were exported to these countries. Wheat exports did not take place to these seven countries in 2018-19 and only 4 metric tonnes of grain were exported in 2019-20. The volume of exports of wheat to these countries rose to 1.48 lakh tonne in 2020-21.
In the case of exports of other cereals excluding rice and wheat, India shipped cereals of substantial quantity to newer destinations or countries -- Sudan, Poland, Bolivia, Colombia, Congo Democratic Republic and Ghana -- in 2020-21. India did not export cereals other than rice and wheat to these six countries in 2018-19. Only 102 metric tonnes of cereals other than rice and wheat were exported in 2019-20 which rose to 521 metric tonnes in 2020-21.
India’s overall exports of cereals have seen a sharp spike in 2020-21 with the export of non-basmati rice growing by 136.04% to $ 4794.54 million; wheat by 774.17% to $ 549.16 million; and other cereals (millets, maize and other coarse gains) by 238.28% to $ 694.14 million, the release said.
The sharp spike in rice exports especially during a phase where globally the COVID19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains of many commodities has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports of rice and other cereals while taking all the COVID19 related safety precautions.
“We took several measures in terms of ensuring safety and hygiene because of the operational and health challenges posed by COVID19 while ensuring that agricultural products exports continue uninterrupted,” Dr Madhaiyaan Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA has said.
APEDA has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains. The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice-producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, the release added.