The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985 was enacted by the legislative department of the Ministry of Law and Justice on January 8, 1986. The fundamental purpose of the Act was to constitute an authority for the progression and encouragement of the export of agricultural products as well as food items and other issues connected with the subject.

The Central Government shall have the power to modify the Schedule to add or omit any agricultural or processed food items and on such modification the product shall cease to be in the Schedule. The modification can be effected only by notifying in the Gazette of India but with regard to the objective of the legislation. The Act further provides for the constitution of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to fulfill the functions under the Act. The Authority shall have the status of a company with continuous succession and common seal. The Authority is empowered to purchase, hold and sell of property, enter into lawful agreements and the right to litigate.

The authority shall be established with a Chairman, Agricultural Marketing Advisor of the Central Government to act as the ex officio member, representative of the Planning Commission, representatives from the Parliament, representatives from the Ministry of finance, agricultural and rural development, shipping and transport, industry etc and other representatives from the states and union territories. But the representatives from the State and Union territories shall be appointed on the advice of the concerned states or Union Territories. The members shall also consist of representatives from the Agricultural Research Council, Institute of Central Food Technological Research, Cashew nut Export Promotion Council, National Horticulture Board etc and other members from the industries of fruit and vegetable produces, meat and poultry products, packaging industry etc.

The officers appointed under deputation to perform functions of the Board shall have all the rights of the other officers appointed directly by the Central government but without the right to vote. The Chief Executive Officer shall be the Chairman of the Authority and empowered to perform the functions, powers and fulfill the responsibilities as specified under the Act. A Secretary subordinate to the Chairman shall be appointed by the Central Government to delegate the functions of the Chairman. The Chairman, the Secretary appointed by the Government and the officers subordinated to him shall not assume any work unrelated with duties of the Authority without the consent of the Central Government.

The Act empowers the Authority to appoint committees for the proficient fulfillment of the duties and performance of the functions provided under the Act. The Authority shall assume certain measures for the advancement and promotion for the export of the products specified in the Schedule. The measures undertaken by the Authority shall be relating to the export of products listed in the Schedule by granting financial support, registration of exporters, fix principles for the Scheduled products, perform assessments of the meat products, advanced package of the products, improved marketing facilities of the products abroad etc. Further the Authority shall take necessary steps for the enhanced export oriented manufacture of the products, compilation of statistics regarding the details of the products and providing training to industrial establishments.

The enactment provides for the establishment of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Fund. The Central Government is also empowered under the Act to restrict and forbid the commercial dealings of the products provided under the Schedule.

The present legislation was amended in 2009 by enacting The Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Amendment) Act, 2009 which repealed The Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2008. The 2009 Act introduced new provision for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights of different varieties of agricultural products.