Export drive for Indian honey in the UAE

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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…reports Asian Lite News

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 today.

“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.

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Last month, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan said that the UAE is the most popular destination in the world for Indian tourists, according to figures submitted to Parliament by him.

Muraleedharan said 314,495 Indians left on tourist visas for the UAE in the first quarter of this year, the latest period for which figures were made available to Members of Parliament (MPs).

This represented an increase of slightly more than 50 percent over the corresponding period last year until India suspended all international passenger traffic into and out of the country on 23rd March 2020 following the global outbreak of COVID-19.

The attraction of the UAE for Indian tourists is especially underlined in the Parliament figures because during the periods under review, the total number of Indian tourists going abroad declined while the UAE’s share of the tourist traffic increased. (WAM/Krishnan Nayar)