India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is mounting a drive to promote its honey exports to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The drive is part of efforts to diversify export markets for Indian honey. At present, India’s natural honey exports are majorly dependent on one market, the United States, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of such exports,” according to an APEDA brief on the beekeeping industry released here.
“We are working in close collaboration with state governments, farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain to boost exports to other countries and regions,” Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA, said in the brief. “India is also renegotiating the duty structures imposed by various countries for boosting honey exports.”
The drive is in line with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a “Sweet Revolution” through the promotion of beekeeping and allied activities, according to APEDA. India exported 59,999 metric tonnes of natural honey worth Indian rupees 716 crores (about $96.77 million) during the fiscal year 2020-21. Of this, the US took 44,881 metric tonnes.
Some exports went to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Canada, markets which APEDA is now planning to tap with greater vigour. India started its honey exports only in the fiscal year 1996-97. It is now the world’s eighth largest honey producer and ranks ninth among the honey exporting countries globally. In February last year, the government here launched a National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM). The mission has been allocated Indian rupees 500 crore (about $ 67.5 million) until 2023.