APEDA Strives To Promote Northeast As Agri-Export Hub; Spearheading Effort To Boost NER’s Agri-Produce : APEDA Chairman

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  • NET Web Desk

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is an apex-Export Trade Promotion government body, which serves as a vital interface between farmers and other stakeholders involved in product export into the international market.

In order to boost the export of horticulture products grown across northeastern states, the centre formulating a robust strategy to promote its locally-grown agricultural products into the international markets.

According to the APEDA Chairman – M. Angamuthu, the NE region is geopolitically important, as it shares international boundaries with China, 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.

“This strategic location of NER makes it the potential hub for export of horticultural produce to neighboring countries. Horticultural crops in the NE region cover 857 thousand ha, constituting 2.34% of the total horticulture area in the country,” – he stated.

“From the production point of view, NE region produces about 7815 thousand MT of horticulture produce and contributes 6.79% to the total production basket of the country. The NE region witnessed more than 200 percent growth in the export of agricultural products as it increased from USD 14.16 million in 2020-21 to USD 50.84 million in 2021-22,” – he added.

Major horticultural crops grown in the NE region include – citrus, pineapple, kiwi, mango, guava, litchi, banana etc. among fruits, potato, onion, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, beans etc. among vegetables, chrysanthemum, anthurium, rose, orchids etc. in flowers, ginger, turmeric large cardamom, coriander, cumin among spices and cashew nut, arecanut and tea etc. among plantation crops.

He further mentioned that a series of outreach programs, International Buyer seller meets, Exposure visits have been organized in collaboration with the state governments of northeast to boost the exports of fresh produce from the region.

Due to the unwavering efforts, several products sourced from the region were exported to new destinations. These includes – Export consignment of Jackfruit from Tripura-UK & Tripura-Germany; Shipment of Burmese Grapes, Tender Jackfruit and Green Chilli from Assam-UAE; Tezpur Litch (GI) from Assam-UK; Assam lemon (GI) from Assam’s Baksha district to UK; Export of Iron rich Red Rice from Assam-USA; King Chilly (Raja Mircha) from Nagaland to London; Assam Lemon (Kaji Nemu) to UK & UAE; Export of Flat Beans (Lab-Lab Beans) to UK& UAE; Natural Honey from Assam to USA; Trial Shipment of fresh organic pineapples from Manipur-Dubai.

Responding to a query on export market for pineapples from the northeast, the APEDA Chairman asserted that “he total import value of Pineapple was USD 2430.50 million in 2020 and India’s total export was USD 3.07 million.”

“We are in the process of launching several efforts to encourage the export of pineapples. Pineapples from the North Eastern Region were recently promoted by APEDA in Lulu Hyper Mart, a prominent retail chain store in Dubai. Buyers gave positive feedback, regarding their satisfaction with the flavour and quality of pineapple from the northeastern regions,” – he added.

The APEDA Chairman further noted that “In order to promote agri exports, APEDA has provided a sufficient budget for regional development initiatives in the north eastern region. But other line ministries also have a budget allocation clause for the development of the North Eastern Region, which includes exports and agricultural output. For utilizing resources in a coordinated way, APEDA is working to create a synergy with all line Ministries and relevant groups.”

APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December, 1985. This Act came into effect from February 13, 1986 by a notification issued in the Gazette of India : Extraordinary : Part-II [Sec. 3(ii): 13.2.1986].

It is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of scheduled products such as – Fruits & Vegetables; Meat and Meat Products; Poultry and Poultry Products; Dairy Products; Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products; Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products; Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Cereal and Cereal Products; Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts; Pickles, Papads and Chutneys; Guar Gum; Floriculture and Floriculture Products; Herbal and Medicinal Plants.

APEDA also functions as the Secretariat to the National Accreditation Board (NAB) for implementation of accreditation of the Certification Bodies under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) for organic exports.

Since 1986, India’s agricultural & processed food product exports have witnessed exponential growth. APEDA in collaboration with farmers, exporters, processors & state governments are significantly contributing to achieve Prime Minister – Narendra Modi’s target of achieving $400 billion mercantile exports during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22.

Its worth noting that on August 2021, PM Modi launched a national effort to achieve the aforementioned target in order to boost economic growth at a time when other factors such as private consumption and investment have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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