More than 500 Business-to-Business Meetings During Trade Mission to India

Trade Mission Success! Learn more about the recent USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agribusiness Trade Mission to New Delhi, India.

By Ron Tanner, Food Export Partnership Consultant

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agribusiness Trade Mission to New Delhi, India, was a success, with 130 participants, including Food Export’s Chief Program and Partnership Officer Teresa Miller, 23 businesses, and 11 State Departments of Agriculture attending.

“The changing demographics of India are shifting demand, especially for protein and high value food and agriculture,” Alexis M. Taylor, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said at a press briefing on April 24.

India is the U.S.’s 13th largest export market, with almost $2 billion in export sales in 2023. Taylor said she expects that to expand due to reduced tariffs on 10 commodities, including chickpeas, lentils, frozen turkey, frozen duck, cranberries, and blueberries. USDA is predicting that exports to India will grow by $345 million in 2024.

According to Taylor, $80 million in funding was requested in the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to focus on India. India was among several targeted markets identified in the RAPP funding notification.

“We need to diversify our export markets. It will be a multi-year effort to build exports to India but there is strong potential. Forty-five percent of the population is 24 or younger and there is a growing middle class that can develop a taste for American food,” Taylor said.

Food Export was among those requesting funds for market outreach to India.

“Food Export included a request in our RAPP application for this market,” Miller said. “We incorporated a full strategic approach that includes educational opportunities for exporters, but also for importers to learn more about our regions and products, as well as market entry activities and marketing promotion.”

This is Miller’s third trip to India.

She added that Food Export’s market entry strategy will take into consideration a systematic and comprehensive landscape assessment specifically for value-added agricultural products. It is imperative to identify key market intelligence that can be shared with U.S. exporters. This process must start at the ground level and requires significant investment in resources.

Katie Nelson of the Indiana Department of Agriculture sees opportunities for frozen poultry and grains. The Indiana State Poultry Association and Culver Duck participated in the FAS Agribusiness Trade Mission.

“There has been a mindset shift here over the past 10 years that is positive for American agriculture,” Doug Goehring, North Dakota Department of Agriculture Commissioner, said.

Fast facts on India

  • Population: 1.2 billion
  • Population under 24: 540 million
  • 2023 U.S. Exports: US$1.73 billion
  • 13th Largest Export Market

Fast facts on Trade Mission

  • Location: New Delhi, India
  • April 22 – 25, 2024
  • Total Participants: 130
  • 23 Businesses
  • 11 State Departments of Agriculture
  • 523 Business to Business Meetings

Top U.S Processed Food Exports to India in 2023 Included:

  • Fats & Oils
  • Food Preparations & Ingredients
  • Prepared/Preserved Seafood
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Canned, Dried & Frozen Fruit
  • Syrups & Sweeteners
  • Condiments, Sauces, Jams & Jellies
  • Chocolate & Confectionery