India’s exports primarily consist of agricultural products. In 2020-21, India’s exports crossed more than $41.8 billion and grew at 17.5 percent, which is indeed remarkable. In 2019-20, the country experienced a drastic drop of 7.2 percent, but it certainly recovered after the global pandemic as above.
Even if India has faced several challenges, it performs effectively at the forefront of agricultural exports. Several government organizations and entities are involved in promoting exports of India, and they have been doing remarkably well. Some of the entities that take responsibility for exports are as follows:
- APEDA – Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
- MPEDA – Marine Products Export Development Authority.
- Commodity boards – Spices board, coffee board.
India since ages has been known to be an agrarian country as nearly 60% of its population is dependent on agriculture for living. During the mid-1960s, India suffered a shortage of agricultural products that later on led to the green revolution that revolutionized the agricultural sector. India not only was able to fulfill the demands of countrymen but it also exported many agricultural goods for profits to other countries. In the present time as well, India’s agricultural export amounts to $33.87 billion as of 2017. This amounts to 10.5% of total export that Indian does.
The Indian government has taken many steps since the last 70 years to boost agriculture and agricultural exports and that is the reason why agriculture sector had a growth rate of around 2.7% in the last 50 years. According to the 2018 Economical Survey, agriculture is set to grow at 2.1%. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that his government is making policies to ensure that by the year 2022, the income of farmers see a double growth. The major method to do so is to boost agriculture exports.
India exports various agricultural products and few of them are mentioned below who have the highest export value. I have created this list of most exported agriculture products with the help of government websites like APEDA and DATA.GOV.IN
Following are the top Agricultural Products exported by India on a massive scale and which need your serious consideration:
Agriculture Products Export List – 2019 – 2020 – 2021
- Basmati Rice
- Non-Basmati Rice
- Fresh Vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
- Processed Fruits & Juices
- Cereal Preparations
- Misc Processed Items
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Processed Vegetables
- Dairy Products
- Other Cereals
- Cocoa Products
- Sheep/Goat Meat
- Milled Products
- Poultry Products
- Fruits / Vegetable Seeds
- Animal Casings
- Processed Meat
- Other Meat
1. Basmati Rice
The first and foremost item in this list will surely be the rice, particularly the basmati rice that is uniquely found mostly in India. 2/3rd of the basmati rice production in India is exported to other countries, and it is indeed of excellent quality and high standards. It fetches a higher price in the global markets, and the demand for this kind of rice is always on the rise. Some of the popular varieties of Basmati rice are Karnal, Basmati 385, and so on. In 2021, more than 29,000 crores worth of rice was exported by India to other countries of the world. We need to focus on the basmati rice since it is one of the unique items for which we are popular in the world.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Iraq and Kuwait have been the largest importer of Indian Basmati rice that accounts to nearly 45%.
2. Rice (non-basmati version)
Other varieties of rice, excluding the basmati rice, are also exported by India to other countries. Even if basmati rice sounds rich and yummy to taste, other types of rice are also worth trying and exporting. Hence, do not underestimate the exporting and revenue-generation capacities of non-basmati rice. More than 1000 varieties of rice exist in India, and one can gain tremendous opportunities by starting an export business in trading the same. More than 130 MT of non-basmati rice was exported, generating revenue of INR 35,000 crores.
Benin was the largest importer of Non-Basmati rice. Nepal, Senegal, Guinea and Iraq are the other top importers.
3. Fresh Fruits
Since India is a land of diversity, you can find several kinds of fruits grown in the country. You can find varieties in mangoes, grapes, and apples and each one of them has a different taste to offer. Primarily, the types of fruits exported by India are mangoes, grapes, bananas, guavas, apples, and others. In 2020-21, the total revenue out of fruit exports was INR 5641 crores.
4. Fresh Vegetables
After fruits come the veggies that constitute a major portion of India’s exports. It has generated a revenue of INR 5371 crores in the last year. The fruits that are majorly exported by India are onions, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, and others.
The major countries to which India exports fresh vegetables are UAE, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, UK, etc.
5. Processed fruits and vegetables
We discussed the fresh fruits and vegetables in the above sections. India has been doing good in exporting processed fruits and vegetables such as preserved mushrooms and much more. Even though India seems to be in the expanding phase, it has managed to earn INR 5149 crores last year. India can do well in juices of all fruits and the jam-making business. Since India exports exotic fruits such as mangoes and guavas, business entrepreneurs can achieve more prominent success in these businesses if they rack their brains more. Be creative and try to broaden your perspective, and you can find something that is more worth exporting.
Indian cuisine uses loads of groundnuts, and they are nutritious as well. India has also been an exporter of groundnuts, and the figures tell that the country had earned around INR 5381 crores in 2020-21. The varieties of groundnuts are huge, and you can find that the global demand for all types is huge.
Let us talk about cereals and related exports in the next two points. India is rich in cereal-based recipes as one can find different varieties of cereals such as sorghum, paddy, barley, and so on. Due to the rapid and growing increase in demand for gluten-free food, the global market has been demanding all kinds of cereals produced in India. With revenue of INR 5117 crores, cereal production needs to be taken seriously by Indian farmers and exporters.
8. Cereal-based food products
These food products include all kinds of cereal flours such as barley flour, sorghum flour, and these are also in demand in the global markets. The revenue has been INR 2382 crores, but we can expect more exports by India in the future.
9. Marine products
One of the significant exports of India is marine products, and it has helped the country earn more than USD 1.5 billion in 2018-2019.
We haven’t talked enough about spices, and it has fetched more than USD 3.31 billion in the year 2018-2019. A spice-export business is great, provided you utilize enough marketing and promotion tools.
11. Buffalo Meat
More than INR 23,000 crores were earned last year due to exports of buffalo meat by India. Yes, it is impressive, no doubt. As compared to the other meat businesses, the buffalo meat business is in demand in global markets. True, you cannot find more orders in the Indian market due to certain reasons.
Cotton has been largely produced in India and exported as well. The exports were USD 2.1 billion in 2018-19, and it is growing in the following years.
The better exporting crop after cotton is sugar, with USD 1.5 billion of sales in the global markets.
Oil also stands at par with sugar and cotton, with USD 1.5 billion exports in 2018-2019.
Indian teas are in huge demand in the global market due to their unique taste. It has fetched exports of USD 0.8 billion, but we can expect more to happen with more innovative marketing techniques.
16. Processed items
We do not have a specific head for certain items, so we have put them under this category of miscellaneous processed items. These include mineral water, sauces, pan masala, and other Indian products that are not found in the global market. These are the specialties of the Indian market, and we can certainly vouch for its exports. The exports have been INR 6389 crores, a totally impressive statistic that entrepreneurs should take seriously.
We hope this list of India’s top agricultural products is of use to you.
India exported a total of 419948.39 MT of Guargam in the FY 2016-17 to the world with a total cost of Rs 310662.07 lakhs. USA was the largest importer with 178001.42 MT of import followed by Norway, China, Russia and Germany.
18. Miscellaneous Processed Items
India is also an exporter of miscellaneous processed items like tomato sauce, pan masala, jiggery, etc. India exported 283265 MT of such goods with a total cost of Rs 2570.48 crores in FY 2016-17. USA, Nepal, UAE, Bangladesh and Australia are the top importers of such products.
19. Alcoholic Beverages
India exported a total of 231333 MT of alcoholic beverages to the world earning Rs 2000.63 crores in FY 2016-17. The major exporting countries were UAE, Ghana, Nigeria, Singapore, and Netherlands. Alcoholic beverages include whisky, Rum, wine, coke, etc.
20. Dairy Products
Dairy products include butter, milk, milk powder, ghee, etc. that are exported worldwide. India exported 39398.62 MT of dairy product gaining Rs 910.45 crores in the FY 2016-17. Major export destinations were UAE, Nepal, Bhutan, etc. India is the undisputed leader of dairy production in the world.
21. Other Cereals
Other cereals include Bajra, bucj wheat, great, maize, jowar, and etc. that are exported worldwide. India exported 168641.80 MT of other cereals gaining Rs 395.83 crores in the FY 2016-17. Major export destinations are Kenya, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
22. Animal Casings
Animal casings include guts of animals, bladder of animals, stomach of animals, and other such things. India exported 173.24 MT of Animal casings for Rs 13.84 crores in the FY 2016-17. Turkey, Portugal, Albania, South Africa and Lebanon are the major export destination of animal casings.
India is the largest producer of pulses in the world. India exported 124883.94 MT of pulses for Rs 1140.13 crores in the FY 2016-17. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Algeria and United Arab Emirates are the top importers of pulses.
24. Cocoa Products
Cocoa and its products are basically produced in Southern India like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. India exported 25700.18 MT of cocoa product to the world gaining Rs 1089.99 crores for the FY 2016-17. Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, United States and UAE are the top importers of cocoa products from India.
25. Poultry Products
India is one of the leading producers of poultry products like chicken and egg. With 449527.49 MT of poultry product export, India is one of the largest producers earning Rs 531.65 crores in the FY 2019-20. Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia Maldives and Indonesia are the top importers of poultry products exported from India.
Milled products include flour from wheat, rice, maize, millets, etc. India is one of the leading producers of milled products. In the FY 2019-2020, India exported 256607 MT of milled products. From these exports India gained Rs 818 crores by exporting milled products to United Kingdom, United States of America, United Arab Emirate, and Canada.
There are lot more agricultural products that are exported from India giving India a trade surplus against many countries. There are lot more opportunities in India for agricultural export from many other products. With few amendments and processing, agricultural export can be easily maximized.