Indian banana growers have been getting help from the Philippines, the world’s second-largest banana exporter, to train farmers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The training equipped the farmers with the know-how on the quantity of fertiliser that needed to be sprayed, the timing and other practices.
All in all, Indian exporters have also tried to increase their share of banana cargo from the country. The numbers reveal an upward trajectory. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal recently stated that India’s banana exports have shown an eight-fold growth in 9 years during the April-May period. The Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics says India exported $157.86 million in value terms for bananas in FY22 versus $99.86 million in FY21. Iran, the UAE, Iraq and Oman are the major export markets for India.
India is the largest producer of bananas in the world. Its output was 32 MT in 2021-22, according to the National Horticulture Board (NHB)’s first advance estimate. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), India produced an average of 29 MT every year between 2010 and 2017; the next biggest producer was China at 11 MT.
The biggest exporters of the fruit are Ecuador, the Philippines and Costa Rica, which are placed between the fifth and eleventh places on the lists of top producers. In contrast, India is not even among the top 10 banana exporters.