(ANI): India's North Eastern Region (NER) witnessed an 85.34 per cent growth in the export of agricultural products in the last six years, revealed India's Commerce and Industry ministry.
Export from the region increased from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The major destinations of export have been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the UK and Europe.
There has been a tremendous increase in the export of agricultural produce from N-E states like Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
To provide potential market linkages, the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (Apeda) organised field visits of importers to have first-hand information about the qualitative cultivation practices being followed by farmers by inviting the importers from the neighbouring countries, the Middle East, far Eastern countries, European nations and Australia. The field visits were carried out in all eight states of NER.
The Apeda organised an international buyer-seller meet (BSM) in Guwahati, Assam, on March 10, 2022, wherein exhibitors from across the state displayed a wide range of agri-horti products, including geographical indication (GI)-products such as fresh fruits, vegetables, processed food products, black rice, red rice, joha rice, spices, tea, coffee, honey, processed meat, spices and organic products. Importers from Sri Lanka, Dubai, Bangladesh, Oman, Netherlands, Singapore and Greece participated along with exporters from NER and other states.
Apeda has also planned to undertake several other projects like capacity-building of 80 budding entrepreneurs and exporters from the region. The farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and farmer producer companies (FPCs) and the state government officials organise skill development and training in food processing and value addition on horticultural produce, among others.
Apeda also extended its support to NER to undertake branding and promotion of Northeast products such as KIWI Wine, processed foods. It also carried out a wet sampling of Joha Rice Pulao, black rice kheer, among other things.
The potential crops for export from Mizoram are pineapple, hatkora (citrus), dragon fruit, oranges, passion fruit, squash, anthurium flower, Mizo Ginger, Mizo chilli and grape wine.
As a part of capacity-building, Apeda organised skill development programmes for manufacturers, exporters and entrepreneurs to utilise the local produce for value addition and export. Training programmes are being held in different states of the Northeast in association with the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysuru (CFTRI), and Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), for five days.
The Apeda, in association with the Industries and Commerce Department, Assam, organised an export conclave on February 19, 2021, in Guwahati.
With the Apeda's intervention, Tripura's jack fruit was exported to London, and Nagaland's King Chilli to London through a local exporter for the first time. Also, Assam's local fruit called Leteku (Burmese Grape) was exported to Dubai and Assam's betel leaves have been regularly exported to London.
Apeda under its Agricultural Export Policy is encouraging states to harness the potential of agri produce exports. The apex body aims to create a platform for the buyers to get the products directly from the producer group and the processors.