J&K’s total export value stood at approximately Rs7,000 crore from April 2014 to Jan 2021.There are 130 commodities, which have been exported to 161 countries in last seven years. In fact, agricultural products not only yield over 50 per cent of the Union Territories’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it provides raw materials to several industries. Fruit-canning, edible oil extraction, flour mills, rice husking factories, bakery and alcohol preparation draw their raw materials from agriculture. J&K is a major exporter of fruits, pulses, rice, handlooms and handicrafts. It is the sixth largest producer of walnuts in the world and an important producer and exporter of a wide variety of dry fruits. This is the reason why J&K has been declared as ‘Agri Exports Zone for Apples and Walnuts’. Besides, these it is a leading exporter of pashmina and raffle shawls which are renowned world over. There is an emerging, yet highly unexplored, foreign market for the local products and the government is making efforts to tap the source through innovative incentives to the sector. Total export from J&K stood at US$188.18 million in 2019-20. In FY’21, exports from J&K stood at US$ 159.64 million.
Current scenario of exports in J&K
CAGR of four per cent for value of exports done from J&K in last six years
First in production of saffron, apple, walnut, trout fish in India
Leading wool producer in India
Mineral rich land — limestone, gypsum, quartzite, dolomite, bauxite
Untapped potential in agri-processing, textiles, equipment manufacturing, willow bats and mining
Major handicraft items include carpets, papier machie, crewel, chain, stitch, shawls, pashmina, kani shawls, walnut woodcarving, willow wicker, tweed, chainstitch, namdha and gabba
Kani shawl, Kashmiri pashmina, Kashmir sozani craft, Kashmiri saffron, Kashmir paper machie, Kashmir walnut wood carving, khatam band, basmati, Kashmiri hand knotted carpets are geographical indicator (GI) registered items from J&K
Potential focus sectors for export
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
Handloom and Handicrafts
Agri and Allied Sectors
Milk, Poultry and Wool production
Tourism and Hospitality
IT and ITeS
Major export sectors
Pharmaceutical Sector: The potential of developing pharmaceutical-based industries in J&K is immense. The export valuation for drug formulation sector is around US$215 million. The UT has a comparative advantage since it is a large producer of floriculture with medicinal value has ample availability of skilled manpower and boasts of centres of academic excellence. There is large amount of opportunities in bulk drug manufacturing unit, biosimilars, vaccines, nutraceutical manufacturing units and drug testing research lab. Furthermore, the J&K Government is fully committed in its efforts for socio-economic improvements of society and has identified pharmaceuticals as one of the most potential tools for achieving this goal.
Organic Chemicals: The organic chemical sector has a footfall of US$171 million in export value of last seven years from the UT and it mainly comprises of agri chemical sector. The major agrochemical products are herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, biopesticides and plant growth regulators. In terms of trade, India is a major exporter and importer of agrochemicals, being the fifth-largest exporter of agrochemicals in 2019 when it exported pesticides worth $3.4 billion (9.4 per cent of global exports). There are several chemicals manufacturing units, tiles factory (Pampore), lignite briquetting plant (Shalateng) glass-making and electric goods manufacturing units in J&K. Efforts by the J&K Government in promoting R&D, relaxing the registration process for new molecules and promoting the ‘Make in India’ initiative for the chemicals industry will help in significantly improving chemicals exports.
Edible Fruits or Nuts, Peels of Citrus Fruits or Melons: This sector has an export value of $104 million majorly comprising of shelled walnuts fried or dried and fresh apples from J&K. The Union Territory has large areas under apples, almond, walnut, cherry, peach and pear orchards. Transportation of these perishable fruits to the distant markets by roads is quite expensive. The processing of fruits, making jam, jelly and juice, etc., is an important industry in the UT. There is a huge scope for setting up of processing units to match with large production of Edible fruits in the UT. Numerous fruit processing and canning factories located in Baramulla and Anantnag districts. J&K is currently processing nearly one per cent of apples and 25 per cent of walnuts produced in India and has three food parks. The UT being the highest producer of temperate fruits offers attractive opportunities for investors in food processing sector with the objective of optimum utilisation of agriculture resources and reduce wastage.
Cereals: J&K offers a rich agriculture diversity in the cereals sector with export value of $99 million. Rice is the staple crop along with Rajmash, corn, millet, pulses, wheat, barley etc. The plain areas of the Jammu Division and the Valley of Kashmir produce huge quantities of rice. Over 60 per cent of the total population of the UT consumes rice. Consequently, there are numerous rice-husking factories in the UT, situated mainly in smaller towns of the rice growing areas in UT of J&K. The rice mill of Barbarshah (Srinagar) is quite large. A modern rice factory was established at Laithpora (near Pampore) in 1981. The rice husk and rice bran are used for the extraction of fatty oil, which is used for soap-making.
Apparel and clothing: Accessories J&K is one of the biggest exporters of world-class shawls, Pashmina and Kani shawl weaving being one of the major industries in J&K. This sector has an export value of $82 million and have large potential to grow in next few years. There are two woollen textile factories, one each at Karan Nagar and Bemina in the City of Srinagar. The wool textile factory of Naushahra (Srinagar) procures fine quality of raffle, utilised mainly for shawl making. Woollen hosiery goods are produced in the Jammu City. Government of J&K has initiated the necessary steps to tap the immense potential for promotion of apparel and other garment exports from J&K.
Carpets and textile floor coverings: Carpet-making is one of the oldest industries in Kashmir. Kashmiri carpets are famous all over the world for their excellent designs and natural patterns. Though carpets are made in almost all the towns of the valley, their major factories are in and around Srinagar. This sector has an export value of $63 million and one of major foreign exchange earners product from J&K. Some of the important carpet manufacturing centres in Srinagar are Cottage Industry Exposition, C.A.E. Carpet Factory, Kashmiri Carpet Factory, East-India Carpet Factory, Oriental Carpet Factory and John Carpet Factory.
Man-made staple fibres: The manufacture of polyester staple fibre by recycling of pet bottles at Samba in J&K. The man-made fibre industry is an essential part of the textile industry. These fibres are more durable, easily washable and free from shrinkage. These fibres are mainly divided into two groups: (a) cellulose (rayon and acetate), and (b) non-cellulose (nylon polyester, etc). These cellulose fibres are mainly derived from wood pulp (from bamboo, eucalyptus, etc). The major commodity exported in this sector from J&K is non-cellulose polyester fibre. The export value of this sector for last seven years is around $29 million dollars.
Cultivation: Vegetable production has been trending up due to introduction of Technology Mission (HMNEH). The cultivation of new all-season hybrid vegetable varieties under protected cultivation has played a vital role in increasing the vegetable production. The post-harvest processing of fresh vegetables can lead to create employment opportunities for the unemployed educated youth in J&K. In Jammu region, cultivation of hybrid, exotic and indigenous kinds of vegetables in different agroclimatic zones round the year and large-scale use of protected cultivation techniques has augmented the vegetable supplies. With respect to export point of view, mushrooms are doing well having net export value of $22 million dollars in J&K. Mushroom producers will be encouraged and supported for procurement of sophisticated environment control system and pasteurisation facilities for increasing productivity in mushroom production.
-— Source: Department of Industries and Commerce, Jammu and Kashmir