When it comes to making the ag products that are grown and produced in Michigan more valuable, it’s often about finding new buyers and new markets for those products. That’s why the USDA is focusing heavily on one market in particular.
“India and it’s 1.4 billion consumers really is one of the largest untapped markets in the world for U.S. agriculture,” says Ryan Brewster, Senior Director of Trade Missions with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
Last year, the U.S. lifted many of its tariffs on certain farm and food exports to India.
“This summer we had some market access opportunities for U.S. products, including chickpeas lentils almonds walnuts apples and frozen turkeys, so it has really opened up India in ways that we haven’t had in many years,” according to Brewster.
Total U.S. agricultural and related product exports to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka exceeded $2.5 billion in 2022, with January–October 2023 exports reaching more than $1.7 billion. India leads the region as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its modern retail sector, including a rapidly expanding middle class and a highly efficient e-retail sector, presents newfound opportunities for a diverse range of U.S. exports.
In hopes of getting India to buy even more U.S. ag products, the USDA is leading a trade mission to New Delhi in April.
The pulses, such as the lentils and the chickpeas—those things are really a part of the Indian diet and that middle class, but we’re also looking at other things such as apples, fruits, almonds, spirits and wines, seafood, as well as ingredients for further processing in India,” says Brewster.
The USDA is looking for ag business owners and ag leaders to join the U.S. delegation on its trade trip to New Delhi, India from April 22-25, 2024. The deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 22.