Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been working with farmers and State governments to ensure a credible supply chain of honey for export to Europe and other countries.
“We are working in close collaboration with the State governments, farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain to boost exports to other countries and regions such as the UK, European Union and South-East Asia,” said M Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA. .
India is also renegotiating the duty structure imposed by various countries for boosting honey exports, he added.
India exported 59,999 tonnes of natural honey worth ₹716 crore ($96.77 million) in 2020-21, out of which the share of the US was 44,881 tonnes or 74.8 per cent. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Canada are the other major destinations.
India’s place in global market
Though India’s honey export started in 1996-97, it was at the ninth position in global trade in 2020 with 7.36 lakh tonnes (lt) exports , APEDA said in a statement. India also ranks at eighth position in global honey production. China, Turkey, Canada, Argentina, Iran and US are major honey producers and together contribute half of the global output, estimated at 17.21 lt in 2019.
Angamuthu said APEDA has been facilitating honey producers in accessing export markets besides availing government assistance under different schemes, quality certification and lab testing.
The export promotion agency is also addressing issues like higher freight cost, limited availability of containers in peak honey export season, higher nuclear magnetic resonance test costs and inadequate export incentives on priority, he added .
Honey exports have huge potential following its acceptance as an effective immunity booster and a healthier alternative to sugar, APEDA said in a statement. The consumption has gone up globally particularly after Covid pandemic, it added . About half of the domestic production gets consumed internally while the remaining is exported.