- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development and Authority (APEDA) has devised a strategy to promote Export of Agricultural and Horticulture products grown in North-Eastern (NE) states.
- Created a platform in Assam for the exporters to get the products directly from the producer group 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 North-Eastern states.
Significance of NER in Agri Exports
- The NE region is geopolitically important as it shares international boundaries with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh making it the potential hub for the export of agricultural produce to neighbouring countries as well as other foreign destinations.
- It witnessed an 85.34 % 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.
- Assam and the other states of North East Region have a favourable climate condition and the soil type for growing almost all agricultural and horticultural crops.
- The NER produces huge marketable surplus in a number of perishable commodities, such as banana, pineapple, orange and tomato.
Initiatives to Promote NER as Agri Export Hub
- Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER): It is a Central Sector Scheme, a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for implementation in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, during the 12th plan period.
- The scheme aims to development of certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of entire value chain starting from inputs, seeds, certification, to the creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building initiative.
- APEDA signs a MoU with Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat to conduct various training programmes on pre-harvest and post-harvest management and other research activities for the promotion of export from the region.
- During Covid-19 period, APEDA continued to push its export plans through Virtual Buyer Seller Meet in association with the Embassy of India located in different countries with exporters from NER regarding the sourcing of pineapple, ginger, lemon, orange, etc.
- APEDA also organised Virtual Trade Fairs during the pandemic and facilitated the export to foreign countries.
- APEDA also extended its support 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.
- APEDA organised skill development programmes for manufacturers, exporters and entrepreneurs to utilise the local produce for value addition.
- APEDA facilitated a workshop on Food Quality and Safety Management for Export of Processed Food Products for boosting exports of agricultural and processed food products from NER through sustainable food value chain development.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT