Centre’s new agriculture export policy to focus on exporting NE products

Centre’s new agriculture export policy to  focus on exporting NE products
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GUWAHATI, February 17: The Centre’s newly framed agriculture export policy — which aims at reinvigorating the entire value chain from export-oriented farm production and processing to transportation, infrastructure and market access — would lay prime focus on exporting fresh fruits and vegetables from the northeast to foreign markets.
Export of vegetables from Assam has gained momentum since November last year, when the government of India launched direct custom clearance facility for agri-export from the Guwahati airport to foreign destinations.
In the northeast, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the coordinating agency of the Union ministry of commerce and industry, has created five packhouses for fresh fruits and vegetables with state government agencies in Assam, Sikkim and Mizoram. A walk-in cold storage at Aizawl airport has been established under the infrastructure scheme for maintenance of quality to enhance export from the state.
The agri export policy, announced in January this year, aims at providing an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary issues and enabling farmers to get benefits of export opportunities in overseas markets.
For creating awareness among the farmers and other stakeholders, APEDA is organizing a buyers-sellers meet in March, roping in importers from the Asean and the Middle East. APEDA has been exploring various aspects of agri export and the procedural requirements for export of fresh fruits and vegetables from the northeastern region.
“The agri export policy will pave the way for organizing the supply chain of agri exports from Assam, benefiting the farmers from grassroots,” said APEDA chairman Paban Kumar Borthakur.
The agriculture export policy has been framed with a focus on agriculture export-oriented production, export promotion, better farmer realization and synchronization within policies and programmes of the Centre. “It is required to have a farmer-centric approach for improved income through value addition at the source itself, which will help to minimize losses across the value chain,” said an official of the Union ministry of commerce and industry.
“The objectives of the agriculture export policy are to diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables, besides promoting novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional agri products exports,” he added. (TNN)