New Delhi: The export of maize has touched USD 816.31 million in the first ten months of the current fiscal 2021-22 (April-January), already exceeding the USD 634.85 million achieved during the last financial year, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry informed on Sunday.
"From an exports realisation of $142.8 million in 2019-20, the export of maize increased nearly six-fold, taking the total value of shipment to $1593.73 million in the last three years despite logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak," the Ministry said in a press release. Neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are the major importers of maize from India.
As per the Ministry, Bangladesh has imported maize worth USD 345.5 million in the current fiscal (April-January), while Nepal has imported maize worth $132.16 million during this period.
"Vietnam has emerged as a major destination for the export of maize. India exported maize worth USD 244.24 million to Vietnam in the first ten months of the current fiscal (April-January 2021-22). Other prominent importing countries are Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Taiwan, Oman, etc," the release read.
Maize, which is globally known as the queen of cereals, has emerged as one of the significant foreign exchange-earners under the commodities covered under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) ambit.
"The significant rise in agri-exports is seen as a testimony of the government's commitment to increase farmers' income through creating requisite infrastructure and improving value chains on boosting exports of agricultural and processed food products," Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA said.
Maize is the third most important cereal crop in India after rice and wheat. The cereal crop is primarily cultivated in the states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,
Kerala, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Having the highest genetic yield potential among the cereals, maize is one of the most versatile emerging crops having wider adaptability under varied agro-climatic conditions.
In India, maize is grown throughout the year and it is predominantly a Kharif crop with 85 per cent of the area under cultivation in the season.
In addition to staple food for human beings and quality feed for animals, maize serves as a basic raw material/ingredient to many industrial products that include starch, oil, protein, alcoholic beverages, food sweeteners, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, film, textile, gum, package and paper industries etc.
"The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by APEDA such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns by the active involvement of Indian Embassies," the Ministry said.