India aims at $1 billion fresh banana exports in next 5 years

  Workers packing bananas for export at a packaging unit near Chinnamanur in Theni district, Tamil Nadu.

Workers packing bananas for export at a packaging unit near Chinnamanur in Theni district, Tamil Nadu. , Photo Credit: KARTHIKEYAN G

With successfully exporting a trial shipment of fresh bananas to the Netherlands through sea route, India is now aiming to increase exports of this fruit to $1 billion in the next five years, an official said.

At present, exports of most of the fruits from India are happening by air route because of lower volumes and different ripening periods.

To increase the volumes, India is developing sea protocols for fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, mangoes, pomegranates and jackfruit to promote their exports through ocean routes.

The protocol includes understanding voyage time, scientifically understanding the ripening of these commodities, harvesting at a particular time and training of farmers. These protocols will be different for different fruits and vegetables.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), along with other stakeholders, has developed these protocols for bananas. APEDA is an arm of the Commerce Ministry.

“With the successful trial shipment, India aims to export bananas worth over USD one billion in the next five years, opening doors to a diversified market portfolio through sea route,” the official said.

The trial shipment reached Rotterdam, Netherlands on December 5. The consignment was shipped from Baramati, Maharashtra.

India’s banana export destinations extend beyond the Middle Eastwith potential opportunities in major global players like the US, Russia, Japan, Germany, China, the Netherlands, the UK, and France, the official added.

Despite being the world’s largest banana producer, India’s export share is currently just one per cent in the global market, even though the country accounts for 26.45 per cent of the world’s banana production at 35.36 million metric tonnes.

In 2022-23, India exported bananas worth $176 million, equivalent to 0.36 MMT.

The main banana producing states include Andhra PradeshMaharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

Assistant Professor and expert on Agri Economics Chirala Shankar Rao said that huge export potential for bananas is there from Andhra Pradesh.

APEDA’s continuous efforts, including B2B exhibitions and the development of sea protocols for other fruits, highlight a proactive approach to boost India’s agricultural exports, the official added.

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