New Delhi: In a major boost to wheat exports, the first shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Bhalia variety of wheat was exported today to Kenya and Sri Lanka from Gujarat. The GI certified wheat has high protein content and is sweet in taste. The crop is grown mostly across Bhal region of Gujarat which includes Ahmadabad, Anand, Kheda, Bhavanagar, Surendranagar, Bharuch districts.
The unique characteristic of the wheat variety is that grown in the rainfed condition without irrigation and cultivated in around two lakh hectares of agricultural land in Gujarat.The Bhalia variety of wheat received GI certification in July, 2011. The registered proprietor of GI certification is Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat.
This initiative is expected to give boost wheat exports from India. In 2020-21, the wheat exports from India witnessed a significant growth of 808 % to Rs 4034 crore from Rs 444 crore reported in the previous fiscal. In US dollar terms, the wheat exports rose by 778% to $ 549 million in 2020-21.
India exported substantial quantity of grain to seven new countries – Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan, Philippines, Iran, Cambodia and Myanmar during 2020-21.
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 tonne of grain was exported in 2019-20. The volume of exports of wheat to these countries rose to 1.48 lakh tone in 2020-21.