India’s agricultural efforts is coming to fruition
APEDA headlines India's fruit and vegetable exports across the world to directly help farmers and cooperatives
Curry leaf, okra, bitter gourd and millets. Mangoes, pears and cherries.
It’s now the turn of India’s famed fruit, vegetables and organic cereals to consolidate their footprint on the global food market – from Dubai to Denmark and London to Seoul, thereby showcasing the produce from various states across the country that were hitherto unavailable to global consumers. The imports also add a dash of health to the global palette since they are full of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds.
In a major boost to agricultural exports from Uttarakhand, a first consignment of vegetables sourced from farmers of Haridwar, was exported to Dubai earlier this month. The export of the healthy consignment – including curry leaves, okra, pear and bitter gourd, comes after a consignment of millets was exported to Denmark in May from Uttarakhand.
The brain behind all this?
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) – which has recently been in the active forefront of promoting quality Indian produce and taking it to the world.
It is APEDA, for instance, which in collaboration with Uttarakhand Agriculture Produce Marketing Board (UKAPMB), sourced and processed ragi (finger millet), and jhingora (barnyard millet) from farmers in Uttarakhand. In addition, the state government has been supporting thousands of farmers for organic certification for millets such as ragi, barnyard millet, amaranthus and so on.
Earlier this month, APEDA in collaboration with the Indian Embassy in the UAE and LuLu group, organised a mango promotion programme in Dubai – bearing testimony to the increasing footprint of mango exports from India despite logistical challenges posed by COVID-19. Various varieties of mangoes from north India like Chausa, Langra and more, were displayed in Dubai in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh mandi board.
Indeed, thanks to APEDA, mango exports from non-traditional regions and states of India have grown by leaps and bounds. Nine varieties of mangoes, including GI certified ones from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, were displayed at Family Food Centre stores in Doha recently – including GI certified Khirsapati (Malda, West Bengal), Lakkhanbhog (Malda, West Bengal), Fazli (Malda, West Bengal) and Dusshheri (Malihabad, Uttar Pradesh).
Mangoes from Bengal, Bihar and UP
A consignment of Geographical Identification (GI) certified Fazil mango variety from the Malda district of West Bengal was also exported to Bahrain. The varieties of mangoes were sold through 13 stores of the group in Bahrain.
And thousands of miles away in South Korea, APEDA collaborated with the Indian embassy in Seoul and the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea to hold a virtual Buyer-Seller meet on mangoes. Soon afterwards, India shipped a consignment of 2.5 Metric Tonne of GI certified mangoes to South Korea, sourced from farmers in the Krishna and Chittor districts of Andhra Pradesh. Alphonso, Kesar, Totapuri and Banganpalli mangoes have been the leading varieties to be exported. The mangoes were exported in the form of fresh mangoes, mango pulp and mango slices.
India broke into the top 10 list of agricultural produce exporters in 2019 with a sizable share in the export of rice, cotton, soya beans and meat, according to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report on the trends in world agricultural trade in the past 25 years. India replaced New Zealand as the 9th largest exporter of agri-produce with a 3.1% share in global agri-exports.
Complemented by APEDA’s efforts, those figures are already beginning to look even better.
Indian blackberry exports
A special variety of the Indian blackberry (black jamun) developed by the Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture, (CISH) in Lucknow, has been exported to London. “It’s a big breakthrough. Jamwant, a special variety of black plum with more than 90% flesh that was produced by farmers in Bithoor, was exported to London. It’s perhaps its medicinal properties that made it popular in the European market where it is categorised as exotic,” said Shailendra Rajan, CISH director.
The first batch of the fruit was sent in the first week of June by APEDA. According to Dr C.B. Singh, AGM of APEDA, the blackberries of UP hold a lot of global export potential, just like the mangoes. It contains high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as bioactive compounds beneficial for human health.
Exporting cherries from Kashmir
In a significant move towards revolutionizing fruit export in the International market, the government of Jammu and Kashmir last month launched export of the Egyptian variety of Cherry from Srinagar to Dubai for the first time in the history of the Union Territory. The first consignment of the cherry was flagged off by Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary.
“Export of such highly perishable fruit from the UT to the international market is like a dream come true and this has become possible due to APEDA which facilitated shipment of this variety of cherry by a venture company of MS Innoterra Dubai,” said an APEDA spokesperson. This commercial shipment of cherry to Dubai has been executed with assistance from APEDA to its registered exporters with proper branding involving suppliers from Srinagar. The cherries were harvested, cleaned and packed by local exporters with technical assistance from SKAUST, APEDA and NRL.
In a bid to encourage more such agreements, APEDA has signed a MoU with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) to facilitate registered exporters get assistance under various government schemes and help cooperatives sell their products globally and build capacities. “According to the MoU, the key areas of cooperation include facilitating APEDA registered exporters getting assistance under all the Government schemes implemented through NAFED. The MoU also envisages ensuring sustainability and growth of exports by cooperatives by addressing issues such as technology, skill, quality products and market access,” the agency said in a release.
APEDA, under the Commerce & Industry Ministry, would facilitate exports by cooperatives, farmer produce organisations, partners and associates identified and promoted by NAFED. Both agencies will also facilitate participation of farmers’ cooperatives in global trade including B2B & B2C fairs to be organised in India and abroad and also to mutually cooperate in international business development & promotions.