Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has released a new report to assist Florida agricultural producers who are exploring opportunities to export their products to India’s large and growing consumer market.

Bronson is taking steps to improve the worldwide market share of Florida farmers which will ensure agriculture continues to make a significant contribution to the state’s economy.

Declining sales tax revenue in Florida makes it all the more important to maintain a strong agriculture industry, which ranks second only to tourism as a top industry in the state.

The 60-page report, titled “India: Road to Success,” presents data obtained during marketing research missions conducted over the past four years by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in conjunction with the Southern United States Trade Association.

“This democracy of 1.1 billion consumers has an under-developed retail sector and an appetite for international goods,” Bronson said. “The Indian market presents opportunities for exporters worldwide, and we want to help Florida’s agricultural producers develop an understanding of the economy, culture, demographics, and consumer preferences of this dynamic country.”

Marketing representatives conducted consumer research in four major areas of India: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and the tri-city region that includes Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. More than 1,600 individual consumer surveys were completed, providing insight into the buying habits of Indians.

Research shows a modern and sophisticated retail grocery sector is emerging amid the 12 million roadside kiosks and shops that traditionally have provided the nation with its supply of food. With a gross domestic product that has increased an average of more than 7 percent annually for the past decade, a reduction in tariffs, and the easing of government restrictions on foreign investment, India’s economy is expanding at a pace rivaling China’s.

“An estimated 120 million affluent Indian consumers are fueling India’s retail revolution,” Bronson said. “Currently this country has fewer than 2,000 U.S.-type supermarkets, but this number is growing rapidly. As grocery retailers expand, so does the need for imported products to satisfy consumer demand. Florida producers should be poised for these opportunities.”

To obtain a copy of “India: Road to Success,” call (850) 488-9948, email sleepd@doacs.state.fl.us, or write to: Dan Sleep, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Mayo Building, M9407 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Fla. 32399-0800.