According to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, farm exports have registered 9.8 per cent growth for the period of April-December 2020.

Data for April-December 2020

  • Overall merchandise exports: Registered 15.5 per cent fall.
    • Farm exports: Registered 9.8 per cent growth.
      • Overall merchandise exports include all the goods manufactured in India while Farm exports include only the agricultural products.
  • Reasons For Growth in Farm Exports
    • Rising International Prices
      • Normalisation of Demands
        • Due to steady normalisation of demand with most countries unlocking their economies after May 2020 and, at the same time, restoration of supply chains post-Covid-19 not keeping pace has made exports of many farm products from India competitive.
        • That includes non-basmati rice, sugar, oilseed meals, cotton and even wheat and other cereals (mainly maize).
        • Earlier, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, released its latest Food Price Index for January 2021, which showed that the FPI has increased from a 48-month-low to a 78-month-high.
      • Chinese Stockpiling
        • Global prices have also been increased by Chinese stockpiling.
        • It had stepped up imports of everything – from maize, wheat, soyabean and barely to sugar and milk powder – to build strategic food reserves amid geopolitical tensions.
    • Dry Weather of Different Countries
      • The current export revival is equally a result of dry weather conditions in major producing countries such as Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand.
      • Russian Federation (world’s largest wheat exporter) and Argentina (No.1 in soybean meal and No.3 in maize) have even announced temporary suspension or taxes on grain shipments in response to high domestic food inflation.
    • India’s Surplus Monsoon
      • India, on the flip side, hasn’t faced serious weather issues; both 2019 and 2020 recorded surplus monsoon rainfall along with timely onset of winter.
    • Agriculture Exempted from Lockdown
      • Farmers harvested a bumper rabi crop during April-June, enabled by the government exempting agriculture-related activities from lockdown restrictions.
  • Significance of Rising Exports
    • If it sustains, it can help increase crop prices when the next rabi harvest is due from March 2021. This may be politically useful in a context of farm unrest.
    • It will help in achieving the $5 trillion economy goal by India.
    • It will help achieve an ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Indian Farm Exports Increased Indian Farm Exports Increased