NEW DELHI, 8 July 2021: In a major boost to wheat exports, the first shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Bhalia variety of wheat was exported to Kenya and Sri Lanka from Gujarat.
The GI-certified wheat has high protein content and is sweet in taste. The crop is grown mostly across the Bhal region of Gujarat which includes Ahmadabad, Anand, Kheda, Bhavanagar, Surendranagar, Bharuch districts.
The unique characteristic of the wheat variety is that grown in rainfed conditions without irrigation and cultivated in around two lakh hectares of agricultural land in Gujarat. The Bhalia variety of wheat received GI certification in July 2011. The registered proprietor of GI certification is Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat.
This initiative is expected to give boost wheat exports from India. In 2020-21, the wheat exports from India witnessed a significant growth of 808 percent to INR 4034 crore from INR 444 crore reported in the previous fiscal. In US dollar terms, the wheat exports rose by 778 percent to USD 549 million in 2020-21.
India exported a substantial quantity of grain to seven new countries - Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan, Philippines, Iran, Cambodia, and Myanmar during 2020-21.
In the previous financial years, only small quantities of wheat were exported to these countries. Wheat exports did not take place to these seven countries in 2018-19 and only 4 metric tonnes of grain was exported in 2019-20. The volume of exports of wheat to these countries rose to 1.48 lakh tones in 2020-21.