India's diverse climate ensures availability of all varieties of fresh fruits & vegetables. It ranks second in fruits and vegetables production in the world, after China. As per National Horticulture Database published by National Horticulture Board, during 2014-15 India produced 86.602 million metric tonnes of fruits and 169.478 million metric tonnes of vegetables. The area under cultivation of fruits stood at 6.110 million hectares while vegetables were cultivated at 9.542 million hectares.
India is the largest producer of ginger and okra amongst vegetables and ranks second in production of potatoes, onions, cauliflowers, brinjal, Cabbages, etc. Amongst fruits, the country ranks first in production of Bananas (26.04%), Papayas (44.51%) and Mangoes (including mangosteens,and guavas) (40.75%).
The vast production base offers India tremendous opportunities for export. During 2016-17, India exported fruits and vegetables worth Rs. 10,369.96 crores/ 1,552.26 USD Millions which comprised of fruits worth Rs. 4,448.08 crores/ 667.51 USD Millions and vegetables worth Rs. 5,921.88 crores/ 884.75 USD Millions.
Mangoes, Walnuts, Grapes, Bananas, Pomegranates account for larger portion of fruits exported from the country while Onions, Okra, Bitter Gourd, Green Chilles, Mushrooms and Potatoes contribute largely to the vegetable export basket.
The major destinations for Indian fruits and vegetables are UAE, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Netherland, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Qatar.
Though India's share in the global market is still nearly 1% only, there is increasing acceptance of horticulture produce from the country. This has occurred due to concurrent developments in the areas of state-of-the-art cold chain infrastructure and quality assurance measures. Apart from large investment pumped in by the private sector, public sector has also taken initiatives and with APEDA's assistance several Centers for Perishable Cargoes and integrated post harvest handling facilities have been set up in the country. Capacity building initiatives at the farmers, processors and exporters' levels has also contributed towards this effort.