India is now in the category of the world’s top agricultural exporters


Backed by the stupendous streak of reforms, India has entered the top 10 list of the countries exporting agricultural produce in the year 2019 with a sizable share in the export of rice, cotton, soya beans and meat.

As per a report by World Trade Organization (WTO) on the trends in world agricultural trade in the past 25 years, India and Mexico with 3.1% and 3.4% share in global Agri exports, respectively, replaced New Zealand (9th) and Malaysia (7th) as the largest exporters across the globe. The United States of America (USA), which topped the list in 1995 with 22.2% share of world Agri export, was overtaken by the European Union (EU) in 2019 with 16.1% global Agri share. The USA’s exports reduced to 13.8% in 2019 while Brazil maintained its ranking as the third-largest exporter by increasing its share from 4.8% in 1995 to 7.8% in 2019.

Applauding the achievement, former Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter and said, “ Despite the pandemic, India stepped in to meet increased demand & emerged as a significant global supplier of food & other essential agricultural products.”

Notably, the top exporting nations of rice in 1995 were Thailand (38%), India (26%), and the US (19%). In 2019, India with a lead of 33% overtook Thailand (20%) to top the list, while Vietnam (12%) overtook the US and climbed to the third spot. The top 10 exporters accounted for more than 96% of exports in both 1995 and 2019.

Further, India is also the third-largest cotton exporter (7.6%), and the fourth-largest importer (10%) in 2019. In the largest traded Agri product, soya beans, India (0.1%) has a meagre share, but was ranked ninth in the world. In the “meat and edible meat offal” category, India secured 8th rank in the world with a global share of 4%.

India’s share of foreign value-added content in its Agri exports clocked 3.8% share primarily due to high tariffs on Agri imports to boost the domestic markets and local farmers.

According to a report, “Reforms to promote Agri exports” released in the first half of this year, the commerce ministry of India had mentioned that the government’s consistent and concerted endeavors to bring in reforms to boost agricultural exports have been highly fruitful.

“Despite COVID-19, India has been able to step in to meet the increased global demand, emerging as a significant global supplier of food and other essential agricultural products,” the report added.


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