India is the fruit and vegetable basket of the world. India being a home of wide variety of fruits and vegetables holds a unique position in production figures among other countries. Over 90% of India's exports in fresh products goes to west Asia and East European markets. However, it needs to augment its food and processing industry at a mega scale, according to an agriculture consultant.
The covered area under the fresh fruits in India was 5510000 Ha with the production of 58740000 MT in 2005-06. The major fruits grown in India are Mangos, Grapes, Apple, Apricots, Orange, Banana Fresh, Avocados, Guava, Lichi, Papaya, Sapota and Water Melons. This is due to its potential in different agro climatic zones India's Export of Fresh Fruits has increased from Rs. 225.67 Crores (USD Million 50.98) in 2005-06 to 256.43 Crores (USD Million 56.88) in 2006-07. The Major countries which import Fresh fruits from India are U.K, Netherlands, U.A.E, Russia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Nepal.
Total vegetable production in India before independence was 15 million mt and since Independence for decades the growth rate was stabilized around 0.5%. The impetus on vegetable research and policy intervention to promote vegetable crops witnessed a sudden spurt in growth rate of 2.5%, a hike of five times during the last decade. Major vegetables grown in India are Potato, Onion, Tomato, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Bean, Egg Plants, Cucumber and Garkin, Frozen Peas, Garlic and okra.
The potential technological interventions with improved gene pool and precise management can take growth rate to nearly 6% per annum. The area under vegetables increased from 5.59 MH in 1991–92 to 6.76 MH during 2004–05. The production in this period increased from 58.53 million mt to 101.43 million mt. During the period, productivity of vegetables increased from 10.5 mt/ hectare to 15.0 mt/hectare. While West Bengal continues to be the leading State in area and production, the productivity is higher in Tamil Nadu followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
India's exports of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable has increased from Rs.
1658.72 Crores (USD Million 374.68) in 2005-06 to Rs.
2411.66 Crores (USD Million 534.97) in 2006-07.
India ranks fifth in the world in cropped area under cultivation and production of potatoes. India produces 41% of world's mangoes, 23%bananas, 24% cashew nuts, 36 % green peas and 10% onion The total export value of the main exporting fruit crop from India is mango. Exports of mangoes, grapes, mushrooms have started going to the United Kingdom, Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong. and among vegetable, onion occupies first position Potatoes and green vegetables like okra, bitter gourd, green chillies have good export potential.
India is 2nd largest onion growing country in the world. Indian onions are famous worldwide for their pungency. The Gulf countries are the main importers of the onion bulb, and neighboring Pakistan and China are India's main competitors in the global market. India's Export of Onion has increased from Rs.
708.15 Crores (USD Million 159.96) in 2005-06 to Rs.
1163.30 Crores (USD Million 258.05) in 2006-07. Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, U.A.E, Pakistan and Nepal are the Major market of Indian Onion.
Mango, called the king of fruits in India, accounts for 40 percent of the national fruit production of 22.168 million tonnes a year. It occupies 42 percent of the country's 24.87 million hectares land under fruit cultivation. India exported 79,060.88 MT of fresh mangoes with the value of Rs. 141.93 Crores (USD Million 31.48) in 2006-07. The major varieties of mangoes exported include Dashehri, Alphonso, Kesar, Banganpalli, Kesar, Dusheri, Langra, Chausa, Mallika and. Swarnrekha. The major markets for Indian mangoes are U.A.E, Bangladesh, U.K, Saudi Arabia and Nepal. India is estimated to account for about 60 percent (9.5 million tonnes) of the world's mango production of 15.7 million tones. The major production areas in the country are in the States of Andhra Pradesh,Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka,Bihar,Gujarat and Maharashtra.