The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which was established in 1986 and works under the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, has achieved phenomenal success in the promotion of export of agricultural products in its successful journey of 37 years.
Started with a merely USD 0.6 billion export in 1987-88, the APEDA’s active intervention took the export of agricultural products to a new height of USD 19.69 billion till April-December 2022-23 and expanded the export basket to over 200 countries. In 2021-22, the APEDA exported agricultural products worth USD 24.77 billion.
The target given to APEDA in the current financial year (2022-23) is USD 23.56 billion, out of which 84% i.e. USD 19.69 billion has been achieved till December 2022, and the remaining target is expected to be completed within the stipulated time period.
According to the WTO Trade Data, India was ranked at 25th in 1986, which slipped further to 28th in 1987 and at 29th position in 1988. However, the ranking of India improved significantly as the county’s position moved to 10th rank in 2019 which improved further to 9th position in 2020 and at 8th rank in 2021.
Aiming to take export of agricultural products to a new level, APEDA promoted IT-enabled activities for ease of doing business in the promotion and development of exports from India. APEDA has undertaken initiatives like paperless office (re-engineering, digital signatures, electronic payment facility), APEDA Mobile App, phase-wise delivery of online services, monitoring and evaluation, uniform access, and virtual trade fair to make governance more efficient and effective.
APEDA’s intervention led to setting up and upgrading the infrastructure of the country for agri exports and augmenting quality of agri exports.
Keeping in mind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘vocal for local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, APEDA has been focusing on promotion of exports of locally sourced GI (Geographical Indications) tagged as well as indigenous, ethnic agricultural products. New products and new export destinations have been identified and accordingly the trial shipments have been facilitated.
As on date, there are 417 registered GI products and of them around 150 GI tagged products are agricultural and food GI out of which more than 100 registered GI products fall under the category of APEDA scheduled products (Cereals, Fresh Fruits and vegetables, processed products, etc).
Some of ethnic and GI tagged products exported by India include dragon fruit, patented village rice, jackfruit, jamun, Burmese grapes, dehydrated mahua flowers, and puffed rice. GI varieties of mango, GI tagged Shahi litchi, Bhalia wheat, Madurai malli, king chilli, Mihidana, Sitabhog, Dahanu Gholvad Sapota, Jalgaon banana, Vazhakulam pineapple, Marayoor jaggery, Khasi Mandarin (GI) from Meghalaya, etc.
The Agriculture Export Policy stepped in as an Institutional mechanism in 2018 for promotion of agricultural exports in the States for the first time with a focus on agriculture export-oriented production, export promotion, better farmer realization and synchronization with the policies and programmes of Govt. of India laying emphasis on farmer-centric approach.
A Market Intelligence Cell has been constituted in APEDA and the activity of dissemination of E-market intelligence reports comprising detailed market analysis has commenced.
A Farmer Connect Portal has also been set up by APEDA on its website for providing a platform for FPOs/FPCs, Cooperatives to interact with exporters.
Working in tandem with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, APEDA has taken a giant leap in making landlocked Purvanchal a new destination of agri export activities by developing Varanasi Agri – Export Hub (VAEH) in a record time. The Varanasi region, where almost NIL export activities were happening due to lack of basic infrastructure, is now abuzz with agri export activities.
After the intervention of APEDA, Varanasi region has recorded exemplary changes in the export scenario and registered many first-of-its-kind achievements in a very short span of time from Purvanchal region. The agri exports from Himalayan belt, J&K to Ladakh was an achievement in development of region with regard to agri exports. The landlocked states such as North Eastern Region, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh spurred in agri exports when their products were sourced from farmers and displayed in the retail chains of importing countries.
Non-Basmati Rice has emerged as India’s top export item among the many agricultural and processed food product exports under APEDA basket. With the export of USD 4663 million in nine months of 2022-23, it is recorded a significant contribution in the current fiscal. Other top products in the APEDA export basket in 2022-23 is Basmati Rice, Cereal preparations & Miscellaneous processed items and meat, dairy & poultry products.
As a part of the Indian Millets promotion on web, APEDA has designed, developed and launched the Millets Portal. It has also created a separate portal Indian Millet Exchange to promote millets.
Agricultural sector is one of the key sectors of the Indian economy as it provides direct employment to about 65% of the working population in the country and also forms the basis of major key industries. Agriculture contributes about 20.2% to GDP and about 14.1% India’s export of agricultural products during 2020-21.
Realising the importance of agriculture and processed food products export from the country, the Government in 1986 had set up Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) through an Act of Parliament under the Commerce Ministry. Then the newly created body replaced the then existing Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC). The APEDA had been undertaking most of the activities as per its mandate and scope of work allocated spanning its 14 product categories which mainly includes the sector of fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, animal, dairy and poultry products and cereals.
Over the years, APEDA has been handling issues concerning product safety, quality and global promotion for all its product categories, compromising more than 700 products. With the agriculture awareness about environmental and food safety issues in the importing countries and constantly additional food norms and consumer preferences, APEDA has been constantly sensitizing its trade exporters about export requirements and also providing assistance for setting up of infrastructure facilities for common uses and as well as by the concerned member exporters for having export oriented production for exports from the country.
Considering the importance of food safety and traceability required by the importing countries of developed economies, APEDA took a number of initiatives in the area of quality development such as preparation of standards, procedures for identified potential products, development of residue monitoring protocol, recognition of laboratories and implementation of traceability systems, etc.
The Government of India through the Ministry of Commerce initiated development of National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), which was approved by the Government on May 2, 2001 and APEDA designated as Secretariat for NPOP.
Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) organizes workshops/capacity building programmes for stakeholders across the country.
The visionary approach, aggressive and consistent efforts of APEDA has enabled India to position itself as a consistent and quality supplier of agri products.
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