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Monday, June 24, 2024

Centre streamlines initiative to export NE agro products

The Centre identified the entire Northeastern region as a geopolitically important zone as it shares international boundaries with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Our Correspondent

New Delhi:

In a bid to further bolster the export of horticulture products grown in Northeastern (NE) states, the central government has setting up a platform in Assam for the exporters to get the products directly from the producer groups and the processors.

“The platform will link the producers and processors of Assam and exporters from other parts of the country that would expand the base of the export pockets in the region and increase the employment opportunities among the people,” an official said.

The initiative being undertaken by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry also has streamlined robust strategy to promote locally produced agricultural products to the international markets with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Middle East, UK, Europe being the major destination for export of NER products.

The Centre identified the entire Northeastern region as a geopolitically important zone as it shares international boundaries with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh and making it the potential hub for the export of agricultural produce to neighbouring countries as well as other foreign destinations.

As per government records, there has been a significant increase in the export of agricultural produce from NE states such as Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya in the last few years.

The NE region witnessed an 85.34 per cent growth in the export of agricultural products in the last six years as it increased from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The major destination of export has been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the UK and Europe.

The APEDA has already taken several steps for the promotion of Geographical Indications (GI) agricultural products from Assam such as bhut jolokia (chilli) and Assam lemon, among others.

Assam lemon is now exported regularly to London and the Middle East and as of now, more than 50 MT of the citrus fruit has been exported. Several consignments of litchi and pumpkin have also been exported by APEDA from Assam to different countries.

“Assam and the other states of Northeast region (NER) have a favourable climate condition and the soil type for growing almost all agricultural and horticultural crops. As most of NER’s boundaries are shared with nations such as Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China, there are possibilities of enhancing exports from the region,” said APEDA chairman M Angamuthu.

A plan is also in the offing to facilitate capacity building to officials of the Assam Agriculture Department following which selected officials would be sent in batches to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Initiative for branding and promotion of North East products such as KIWI Wine, processed foods, carrying out a wet sampling of Joha Rice Pulao, Black Rice kheer, etc has already been undertaken by APEDA.

Export Tripura’s Jack fruit and Nagaland’s King Chilli to London has already been initiated through a local exporter for the first time. Assam’s local fruit called Leteku (Burmese Grape) was exported to Dubai and Betel leaves have been regularly exported to London.

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