NEW DELHI: Triggered by a sharp increase in production led by grapes, India's exports of fresh fruits jumped by a staggering 40 per cent in the first nine months of the current financial year on account of a sharp decline in this seasonal fruit in competing countries.
Data compiled by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority showed India's fresh fruits exports jumped to 487,441 tonnes ($403 million) for the period between April and December 2016 as compared to 348,675 tonnes ($335 million) in the corresponding quarter last year.
The sharp increase in India's fresh fruits exports can be largely attributed to the entry of large corporates that have provided special attention on the entire eco-system of fruits, including seeding, field preparations, planting, re-planting, time of harvesting, post harvest management and marketing. Apart from that, most corporates have adopted due care on farm advisory for ensured income for farmers at different levels of crop care. With deep pockets, the entry of large corporates in fruits management has helped India to stand in line with the developed world with the best quality of produce.
Companies like Mahindra Agri Solutions not only provide advisory to farmers but also help increase farmers' income through skilful marketing of their produce.
Meanwhile, the first advanced estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture forecast India's grape output to set a new record of 2.64 million tonnes for 2016-17, compared to 2.59 million tonnes last year, on an increased acreage to 123,000 ha this year from 122,000 ha the previous year. Grapes' exports season starts in January and continues till April-end.
Apart from grapes, India exports mango to a number of European, American and the West Asia countries. Export of grapes from India are estimated to have jumped by 15-20 per cent so far this season following crop damage in competing countries, including Chile and South Africa. Interestingly, India has also started shipping fruits to China, the market which opened for Indian exporters last year.