India can explore export opportunities in 19 agro-based commodities that together have a global market of USD 97.6 billion, recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations shows. India’s share in the global market for these products currently stands at a miniscule 1.5%, with India exporting USD 1.49 billion worth of these commodities in 2017.
Except for coir and coir products, India does not have a significant market share in most of these identified 19 commodities.
Despite being a major producer, India’s share in exports of bananas, oranges, chicken meat and milk products such as cheese and buttermilk is miniscule.
Thus, there is a huge unrealized export market for India’s farm commodities, which can be explored by food processing companies and mega food parks that are envisaged under the Central Government scheme. Government of India is offering financial support to around 40 mega food parks across various parts of the Country.
Maharashtra, which is the second-largest exporter of agro commodities stands to benefit from this unrealized export opportunity. The State will have three of the 40 mega food parks that are being implemented across the Country. These three parks are being set up in Paithan, Satara, and Wardha for processing fruits, vegetables, foodgrains, and milk.
Of these 19 farm commodities, Maharashtra has been a dominant exporter of only grapes, mangoes, onions, and dehydrated vegetables. The State can upgrade its export capability in dairy products, poultry products and cereals such as sorghum and maize.
However, Maharashtra will have to improve its global competitiveness on par with leading farm exporters such as New Zealand, USA, Brazil, Belgium, Australia, Argentina, and others to capture this huge world market for food commodities.
India can enhance its agro exports through a coordinated action plan with the participation of Government, trade support institutions, including quality standards authorities, export promotion councils, and entrepreneurs.
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