India’s Agriculture Exports touch a historic high of $50 bn

Highest ever exports have been achieved for staples like rice ($ 9.65 bn), wheat ($ 2.19 bn), sugar ($ (4.6 bn) and other cereals ($ 1.08 bn)

The agriculture sector in India has experienced buoyant growth in the past two years. The sector, which is the largest employer of workforce within the country, accounted for a sizeable 18.8% (2021- 22) in GVA of the country registering a growth of 3.6% in 2020-21 and 3.9% in 2021-22. 

As per the Fourth Advance Estimates for 2021-22, the production of foodgrains in the country is estimated at 315.72 MT which is higher by 4.98 MT than the production of foodgrain during 2020-21. The production during 2021-22 is higher by 25 MT than the previous five years’ (2016-17 to 2020-21) average production of foodgrains.

The oilseed production in India has steadily increased since 2016-17 onward. The oilseed production in India has grown by almost 23.9% from 2016-17 to 2021-22.3 India is projected to maintain a high per capita vegetable oil consumption growth of 2.6% per annum reaching 14 kg/capita by 2030 necessitating a high import growth of 3.4% per annum.

Sugar and sugarcane industry in India is the second largest Agro-based industry, in the country only next to cotton. Export of sugar in sugar season 2021-22 is 15 times that of 2017-18. Contracts for export of about 90 LMT have been signed to export sugar in current sugar season FY'22 out of which 75 LMT were exported until May'22.

Spices production in the Country grew from 67.64 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 to 106.79 lakh tonnes in FY 21 with an annual growth rate 7.9%. Export of spices recorded an annual growth rate of 9.8% in terms of volume and 10.5% in terms of value in FY 21. The export of spices contributes 41% of the total export earnings from all horticulture crops in the country and it ranks fourth among agricultural commodities.

  • %

    Share of world’s area under bamboo cultivation

  • %

    Production of total coconut production in the world in FY 21

  • %

    Horticulture contribution of agricultural GDP

  • %

    Share of global fruit and vegetable production

India is the largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew, spices, papaya, pomegranate etc., pulses, milk, and jute (raw and jute goods)

Globally, second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, rice, Wheat, groundnuts, cashew tea

India ranks first in productivity of grapes, banana, cassava, peas, papaya 

Industry Scenario

As per the Fourth Advance Estimates for 2021-22, the production of foodgrains in the country is estimated at 315.72 MT which is higher by 4.98 MT than the production of foodgrain during 2020-21.

The agriculture sector in India is the primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population.

As per the provisional figures released by DGCI&S, the agricultural exports have grown by 19.92% during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 bn. The growth rate is remarkable as it is over and above the growth of 17.66% at $41.87 bn achieved in 2020-21 and has been achieved in spite of unprecedented logistical challenges in the form of high freight rates, container shortages, etc. Record production is estimated for rice, maize, pulses, oilseeds, gram, rapeseed, mustard, and sugarcane.

Wheat has recorded an unprecedented growth of more than 273%, jumping nearly four-fold from $568 mn in 2020-21 to touch close to $2119 mn in 2021-22 

Export of rice was the top forex earner at $9654 mn during 2021-22. Export of pulses reported a growth of 34%. Fruits and vegetables exports were up by 12 %.

Export growth of fresh fruits and vegetables in term of value is 14% and of processed fruits and vegetables is 16.27%. 

Exports of other processed food items grew by 34% during 2021-22 to touch $1164 mn against $866 mn in 2020-21. 

The cashew exports also grew by 7% to $452 mn in 2021-22 from $420 mn in the previous year. 

Floriculture products reported a rise of 33% when it touched $103 mn in 2021-22 from $77 m in 2020-21. 

Ethanol production capacities increased from 421 cr ltrs to 867 cr ltrs in last 8 years. 

There is a 42% rise (from $735 mn to $1042 mn) in exports of coffee in 2021-22 over the previous year. 

APEDA's major exporting destination as per 2021-22 data are Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, USA, Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran and Egypt. 

The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by Centre through APEDA 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 government organized more than 300 outreach programmes in collaboration with state governments for enhancing the exports of agricultural produce. During 2020-21, 9432 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) were established under the SMAM scheme.


  • Demand-side drivers

    Population and income growth, Increasing exports & Favourable demographics

  • Supply-side drivers

    Hybrid and genetically modified seeds, Favourable climate for agriculture and wide variety of crops, Mechanisation Irrigational facilities and Green revolution in Eastern India

  • Policy support

    Growing institutional credit, Increasing MSP, Introduction of new schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Pradhanmantri Gram, Sinchai Yojana, and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana and Opening exports of wheat and rice

  • Logistics support

    Initiatives like Kisan Rath (mobile app for farmers, FPOs and traders), 200+ Kisan Rails and Krishi Udaan Scheme for produce transportation, and Perishable Cargo Centres, cold storage facilities at Airports and Inland Container Depot as well as cargo terminals and warehouses.


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Asked Questions

What is the Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure scheme?

It is common knowledge that there is a need to promote agriculture marketing infrastructure projects for reducing the involvement of intermediates and minimizing post-harvest losses. A robust agriculture marketing infrastructure will ensure better remuneration to farmers and supply of better quality products to consumers and processing industries. During the XII plan period, the estimated investment for marketing infrastructure and value chain development was $ 8.61 billion .

To address this need, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Govt. of India has introduced the Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) Scheme by merging the earlier GrameenBhandaranYojana (GBY) and the Scheme for Development/Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization (AMIGS).

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What is agricultural biotechnology?

Agricultural biotechnology is an advanced technology that allows plant breeders to make precise genetic changes to impart beneficial traits to the crop plants we rely on for food and fiber.

For centuries farmers and plant breeders have labored to improve crop plants. Traditional breeding methods include selecting and sowing the seeds from the strongest, most desirable plants to produce the next generation of crops. By selecting and breeding plants with characteristics such as higher yield, resistance to pests and hardiness, early farmers dramatically changed the genetic make-up of crop plants long before the science of genetics was understood. As a result, most of today's crop plants bear little resemblance to their wild ancestors.

The tools of modern biotechnology allow plant breeders to select genes that produce beneficial traits and move them from one organism to another. This process is far more precise and selective than crossbreeding, which involves the transfer of tens of thousands of genes, and provided plant developers with a more detailed knowledge of the changes being made.

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What are the benefits of Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2020?

This Act empowers farmers to freely sell their produce from farm gate directly to the buyers/exporters/processors/retailers who are offering better prices as alternative to APMC Markets without paying any market fee in trade area. It will help to reduce transportation cost of farmers produce from the farm gate to the mandis. It will also help in reducing post-harvest losses. The farmers can now store their produce in warehouses after harvest and sell it directly from such warehouses at appropriate time at suitable prices without bringing the produce to APMC Markets for selling.

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Under Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2020, corporate companies are also becoming entity as ‘farmer’?

Corporate companies are not included in the definition of farmer in this Act. Only Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), which are registered under any law, are included under the definition of farmer apart from individual farmers.

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What are the payment procedures for FPO or Agricultural Cooperative Society under Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2020?
  • An FPO or an agricultural co-operative society shall make payment to the farmer immediately after sale, but not later than fourteen days from the date of aggregation or purchase subject to the condition that the receipt of delivery shall be given to the farmer on the same day.
  • When FPO aggregates or buys the scheduled farmers’ produce from farmer in the trade area and sells such produce in raw form itself, it shall make the payment immediately after such sale, but not later than three days from the date of aggregation or purchase, if procedurally so required, subject to the condition that the receipt of delivery shall be given to the farmer on the same day.

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