Surat : In what is termed as a major boost to the wheat exports from India, the first shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified ‘Bhalia’ variety of wheat from Gujarat was exported to Kenya and Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
The Bhalia variety of wheat is specially grown in the Bhal region of Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Bharuch districts respectively.
Bhalia wheat has a unique characteristic. It is grown in the rain fed condition without irrigation and cultivated in around two lakh hectares of agricultural land in Gujarat. Bhalia wheat variety received its GI certification in July-2011 and that the registered proprietor is Anand Agriculture University (AAU) in Gujarat’s Anand district.
The initiative is all set to give a major boost to the wheat exports from India. In 2020-21, the wheat exports from India witnessed a phenomenal growth of 808% to Rs 4,034 crore from Rs 444 crore during the same period in the previous year.
The major export of wheat from India was bound to seven new countries including 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 tonne of grain was exported in 2019-20. The volume of exports of wheat to these countries rose to 1.48 lakh tone in 2020-21.