Virginia Looks To Grow Agricultural Exports To India

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Locally grown fruits and vegetables are sold at the Herndon, Virginia, Farmer's Market.

Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell hopes a new initiative will increase agricultural and forestry product exports from Virginia to India.

McDonnell on Monday announced the plan to develop and pursue new sales opportunities for the state’s agribusiness producers and exporters as he wraps up a two-week trade mission to Israel and India.

Virginia’s agricultural exports to India were valued at $3.2 million in 2010. Officials say the economy in the world’s second-most populated country is expected to increase demand for imported agricultural products.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has hired Atul Khana to represent Virginia’s agricultural and forestry interests in India. Funding was approved by the General Assembly in 2011.

Agriculture and forestry have a combined economic impact of $79 billion annually in Virginia and provide about 500,000 jobs.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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