APEDA signs MoU with Assam University of Agriculture to conduct trainings on pre- and post-harvest management

To boost the export of horticulture products grown in the North Eastern (NE) states, the government has now put in place a robust strategy to promote locally produced agricultural products in international markets. The northeast region is geopolitically important as it shares international borders with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, making it the potential hub for the export of agricultural products to neighboring countries. as well as to other foreign destinations.

As a result, there has been a significant increase in exports of agricultural products from northeastern states like Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya over the past of recent years. The North East region has seen an 85.34% growth in exports of agricultural products over the past six years, from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The main export destination was Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Europe.

To provide potential market linkages, the Agricultural and Processed Foods Development and Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, organized site visits of importers to obtain first-hand information on the quality cultivation practices followed by the farmers. The importers were mainly Middle East, Far East countries, European countries and Australia etc.

Over the past three years, APEDA has organized 136 capacity building programs on export awareness in different parts of the NER. At the highest, 62 capacity building programs were organized in NER in 2019-20, while 21 in 2020-21 and 53 such programs were organized by APEDA in 2021-22. In addition to capacity building initiatives, APEDA has organized 22 international buyers’ and sellers’ meetings and trade fairs in the NER over the past three years.

APEDA has also organized a organized conference on the export potential of natural, organic and geographical indication (GI) agri-food products in Guwahati on June 24, 2022 to tap into the abundant export potential of organic agricultural products in the country. Assam and neighboring NER states.

APEDA aims to create a platform in Assam for exporters to obtain the products directly from the producer group and processors. The platform will link producers and processors in Assam with exporters from other parts of the country, which would broaden the base of export pockets in the northeastern states, including Assam, and increase job opportunities among the population of the state.

APEDA signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat to conduct various training programs on pre- and post-harvest management and other research activities for the promotion of exports from the region.

APEDA promoted NER GI products like Bhut Jolokia, Assam Lemon, etc. caught the attention of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who had mentioned it during his Maan Ki Baat program. Assam Lemon is now exported regularly to London and the Middle East and to date over 50 tonnes of Assam Lemon have been exported. Several consignments of lychee and pumpkin were also exported by APEDA from Assam to different countries.

“Assam and other states in the North East region have favorable climatic conditions and the type of soil for growing almost all agricultural and horticultural crops. As most of the NER borders are shared with countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, there are opportunities to increase exports from the region,” said APEDA Chairman Dr M Angamuthu.

During the period of Covid-19, APEDA has continued to advance its export plans through Virtual Buyer Seller Meet in association with Indian Embassy located in different countries with Exporters and FPOs/FPCs of NER concerning the supply of pineapple, ginger, lemon, orange, etc. APEDA also held virtual trade fairs during the pandemic and facilitated export to foreign countries.

APEDA has also planned to undertake several other projects such as capacity building of 80 aspiring entrepreneurs and exporters in the region, Agricultural Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Agricultural Producer Societies (FPCs) and the Government of the state. managers, organize skills development and training in food processing, value addition on horticultural products, etc.

APEDA also planned to facilitate capacity building for officials from the Department of Agriculture in Assam and selected officials would be sent in batches to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

APEDA is also extending its support for branding and promotion of North East products such as KIWI wine, processed foods, carrying out wet sampling of Joha Rice Pulao, Black Rice kheer, etc. .

As part of capacity building, APEDA has organized skills development programs for manufacturers, exporters and entrepreneurs to utilize local products for value addition and export. Training programs are held in various North Eastern states in association with the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore (CFTRI) and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT).

APEDA also conducted a workshop on Food Quality and Safety Management for NER Processed Food Export in Ri Bhoi in Meghalaya and Dibrugarh in Assam to boost food exports agricultural and processed products from the NER through the sustainable development of the food value chain.

Thanks to the intervention of APEDA, Jackfruit from Tripura was exported to London and King Chilli from Nagaland to London through a local exporter for the first time. Also, local Assam fruit called Leteku (Burmese grape) has been exported to Dubai and Assam betel leaves have been regularly exported to London.

Harnessing the export potential of pork and pork products, APEDA has assisted the government of Assam in setting up a modern pork processing facility in Nazira, which has a slaughter capacity of 400 animals per day. The unit is ready and ready for commissioning soon.

APEDA organized a training program on promoting the export of organic pork from Sikkim, which is an organic state in India, in association with the State Department of Animal Husbandry. APEDA has also developed guidelines for the export of fresh and processed pork with the assistance of the NRC on pigs located at Rani, near Guwahati. In the NER, Sikkim is the first state to have an organic certification agency, which was established in 2016 with the support of APEDA.

(With GDP entries)