Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh has left Maharashtra and Gujarat behind to emerge as India's top banana exporting state.
Andhra Pradesh exported over 45,000 MTs of banana in the last fiscal year. The state is set to export over 75,000 MTs in the current fiscal to retain the top place in export of the Green Cavendish.
Andhra Pradesh also stands first in the area and production of bananas in the country. The area under banana cultivation has tremendously increased from 79,360 hectares during 2014-15 to 1.04 lakh hectares by 2019-20. The productivity too has increased to 60 metric tonnes per hectare.
Andhra Pradesh is famous for producing Karpura Chakkerakeli, Tella Chakkerakeli, Budida Chakkerakeli, Amruthapani, Red-Banana, Sugandhalu (Karpura), Karpuravali (Budida Arti) and Rasthalu varieties of the bananas.
In 2018, the horticulture department started Fruit-Care Activities through PPP mode with banana exporting companies to promote marketing and exports of the produce.
The produce has high demand in the Middle East countries including UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran. Beginning with a modest quantity of 246 MTs in 2016-17, Andhra Pradesh was able to scale up the export to 40,000 MTs during 2020 despite the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Chiranjiv Choudhary, Andhra Pradesh commissioner of horticulture, said that in 2021, the export of bananas has started a bit early than the previous season. He said the first rake with 43 refrigerated containers with 946 MTs of banana was shifted from Railway Station, Tadipatri, for export. The second rake left on January 26, 2021.
More than 30,000 MTs of banana is set to be exported this year through specified Trains from Anantapur district only. During last year, three Export Companies including DESAI, INI-Farms, and Constrochem companies exported bananas from Andhra Pradesh. This year, more than 10 companies are involved in the export of bananas.
So far more than 18,000 MTs of banana have been exported to Middle-East countries in comparison to 8,200 MTs during the corresponding period last season.
Banana exports from Andhra Pradesh
2016-17- Exports 246 MTs
2017-18- Exports 4,300 MTs
2018-19- Exports 18,500 MTs
2019-20- 45,000 MTs
2020-21- Expected 75,000 MTs