AgriNation News Network
New Delhi. 25 May 2018\
The outbreak of Nipah virus, which has resulted in the death of ten people in Kerala, is also likely to have an adverse impact on India’s fruit exports. The virus, which is released through bats’ saliva, urine and excreta, typically spreads due to bats consuming fruits on trees.
India is the largest producer of bananas (26.04%), papayas (44.51%) and mangoes (40.75%).
According to Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), in 2016-17, India exported fruits worth of Rs 4,448.08 crore, out of which mangoes, walnuts, grapes, bananas and pomegranates accounted for most of it.
Specifically, it is the Greater Indian Fruit Bat, found abundantly across South Asia, which carries the Nipah virus.
The Commerce Ministry has said it is monitoring the outbreak and will asses if the virus will bear implications for the country’s fruit exports. “We are keeping an eye on the developments. If the situation persists, we may have to ask our agencies to do a formal assessment of whether this will hurt India’s export potential,” according to the official comminique.
Since these bats feed on any fruit they can find, there’s a risk of exports of many fruits getting affected.
Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that India’s mangoes export had reached 52,761 tonnes in 2016-17. According to APEDA, the major destinations of India’s fruit and vegetable exports are UAE, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Netherland, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Qatar.