Fruit and vegetable exports in the post-liberalization era: The Indian experience

A. Indhushree, Anil Kuruvila, Jesy Thomas, C. Latha Bastine


The liberalization of agricultural trade brought about by the economic reforms of 1991, the subsequent WTO agreement and the proliferating Regional Trading Agreements have opened opportunities as well as challenges for India’s horticultural trade. This paper analyses the performance of horticultural exports from the country in terms of growth, instability, dynamics, diversification and stability with respect to commodities and markets and the constraints in terms of the Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) faced and delineates the opportunities and strategies required to be followed by the sector for a sustainable growth. The horticultural exports from the country have grown significantly in both quantity and value terms during the period from 1991 to 2016. The highest share in the exports of horticultural products from India was accounted by grapes for which the major markets were Netherlands, Russia, United Kingdom, UAE, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Among the vegetables, India accounted for about 9.4 per cent of share in world exports of onion and the main destinations were Bangladesh, Malaysia, UAE and Sri Lanka. The horticultural exports have shown increased commodity diversification as well as geographical diversification due to increased market access in developed countries. Even though the tariffs have come down there by increasing the exports, the NTMs, especially quality issues in connection with sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations have increased in the post- liberalization era. Given the inherent potential and rising competiveness of the India’s horticultural sector, the removal of product specific constraints, especially production of commodities of international standards could definitely help in sustaining the growth of horticultural exports.


Exports, growth and instability, non-tariff Measures, sanitary and phyto-Sanitary regulations

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