Despite being the largest producer of bananas in the world, India is ranked 20th in exports and has a paltry 0.6 per cent share in the global banana trade. Industry sources claim that, if India adopts an export-oriented strategy to upgrade the value chain, the country can increase its exports four-fold.
India's exports of bananas in FY22 was $160.52 million against global exports of $14.5 billion—a share of 0.6 per cent. Even, the world's fifth largest producer Ecuador has a 24 per cent share.
According to K. Unnikrishnan, Joint Director General of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, (FIEO), India can reach at least $500 million exports within five years to grab a 3 per cent share in global trade and be one of the top 10 exporters if it improves production, post-harvest handling and phytosanitary standards.
The government should encourage major retailers and department stores in India to invest in post-harvest channels to procure bananas and sell through stores with specified standards, branding and packaging.