The lockdown restrictions did not affect the agriculture export sector as it saw more business as compared to last year. According to officials, export of commodities like lemon, ginger, muskmelon, green chilli, banana, eggplant (brinjal) and potato was more as compared to 2019, and trade basket of grapes, mango, pomegranate, okra and garlic saw a dip.
Sunil Pawar, managing director, Maharashtra Agricultural Marketing Board, said, “Post lockdown relaxations, agricultural export is increasing. Export of Kesar mangoes has started. We are yet to collected the sale growth figure. With major export of state happening from Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and by air, the data is expected soon.”
Bhaskar Patil, head, Maharashtra Agricultural Export Monitoring Committee, said, “Agriculture export is carried out through sea to Dubai, Middle east countries, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Export by airway is to European countries, but the quantity is less.”
The agro export panel head said that the government machinery ensured that agriculture export is not hampered by lockdown restrictions. “As all these countries that buy our commodities do not have their own produce, they mainly depend on us,” he said.
Patil said, “We have data till May 31. Export is increased more in June as compared to previous month but data collection is going on. Anoop Kumar, principal secretary (agricultural marketing, animal husbandry and fisheries), and Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) managing director Sunil Pawar helped to bring coordination between various departments and sort out issues. Various departments are involved in export work.”
Agricultural export gainers
Commodity/ export in April and May 2019 in metric tonnes/ export in April and May in 2020 in metric tonnes
Agricultural export losers
Commodity/export in April and May 2019 in metric tonnes/ Export in April and May 2020 in metric tonnes
Okra (lady’s finger)/441/195
Air cargo facility shutdown hits mango export
Maharashtra Agricultural Export Monitoring committee head Bhaskar Patil said, “MSAMB had made preparations for mango export from its facility located at Vashi in Mumbai. Every year mango is exported to America, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, but as air travel facility is unavailable, the cargo is not lifted. Despite the Vashi market being closed, MSAMB ensured that packing houses for export located on market committee premises remain operational though the market was closed.