Every year, the government imports and exports major food products into the country to feed its population and the amount of trade done varies, depending on the needs of the countrymen.
Vegetable oils top the list of major food products imported into the country in the financial year 2015-16 (April to December ) at the cost of 8102.56 million US dollars.
The expenditure incurred on this product in the years 2014-15, 2013-14 and 2012-13 were 10621.48 million dollars, 9389.74 million dollars and 11265.12 million dollars respectively.
Vegetable oils were followed by another very highly consumable item in Indian households- Pulses, which were imported for 2956.3 US million dollars. Total 2786.11 million dollars, 2119.32 million dollars, 2449.99 million dollars were spent on pulses in 2014-15, 2013-14 and 2012-13, respectively. Although India is known for its delicious fruits, and produces them in bulk, yet Indians seem to be going overboard with them. The fresh fruits were imported at the cost of 1335.97 US million dollars. The total amount incurred on fresh fruits was 1565.2 million dollars in 2014-15, as against 1273.46 million dollars in 2013-14 and 1138.49 million dollars in 2012-13.Another major item on the import list is ‘’cashew’’. Cashew as such is not just everyday consumable item and we do not eat in our daily routine food. It is a dry fruit and is taken not so frequently. Yet it was imported and at an astonishing cost of 1146.66 US million dollars.
In the year 2014-15, it was imported at the cost of 1087.16 million dollars, in 2013-2014 at the price of 773.81 million dollars and in the financial year 2012-13 , cashew was imported at the 990.36 million dollars. Other products which were imported into the country include cocoa products, coffee, dairy products, fresh vegetables, groundnuts, oil meals, processed fruits and juices, processed meat and vegetables, sheep and goat meat, spices , sugar, tea and wheat. These products were bought in miniscule amounts and the country was producing sufficient amount of them all.
From the ‘begging bowl’ image of the country to gaining self sufficiency in production of all food products , the country has come a long way and is at the threshold of achieving self sufficiency in producing almost everything though miniscule imports cant be avoided though the government is addressing this aspect as well.
As far as major imports are concerned, the government is trying to reduce the ratio and enhance production.