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APEDA Takes Steps To Promote Agricultural Products From J&K, Ladakh

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Acacia Honey

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has started a few efforts to popularise some of the union territories of Jammu, Kashmir, and Lakadh's unique agricultural products, such as Mushkbudji aromatic rice, Acacia honey, and Kashmir valley apples. 

Commercial shipments of Ladakh Halman apricots from Leh to Dubai began for the first time in August-September, with local businessmen from Kargil handling the exports. 

According to a news statement from the Commerce Ministry, samples of Mushkbudji rice and Acacia honey were shipped to Dubai, Oman, and other West Asian markets in August. Apples grown in the Kashmir valley were also delivered to the same markets as samples. 

It stated that once the export value chain is built, regular shipments of this commodity to West Asia would commence. 

APEDA, which is responsible for promoting agricultural exports from the 3 union territories, has also made steps to educate producers, exporters, government officials, and other stakeholders on the National Programme for Organic Production's criteria (NPOP). This is critical if exports are to increase. 

As a consequence, during March-April this year, Kashmir Saffron, a GI tag product, was sent to Dubai and other West Asian markets, while the Mishri type of Kashmir valley cherries was shipped to Dubai during June-July. The cherries are receiving repeat export orders, the press statement said. 

Last month, seabuckthorn juice, pulp, concentrate, oil, and herbal fusion tea product samples were supplied to Indian corporate food makers for the creation of products for the domestic and international markets. According to the press release, the items may take some time to reach the worldwide food market. 

Seed certification officials, the Directorate of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry, and the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) of Srinagar and Jammu Regions were all sensitized by APEDA to join the Organic Certification Agency under the NPOP in July 2021. 

The authority signed memorandums of understanding with the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organisation (JKTPO) for technical assistance and promotional activities aimed at increasing productivity and promoting potential regional products. 

In July 2021, APEDA took up the issue of comprehensive export logistics requirements for the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Central Warehousing Corporation, and other concerned departments for the creation of customs clearance facility, smooth X-ray and handling of perishable commodities, and issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates, according to the release. 

APEDA also held virtual buyer-seller meetings in the Jammu and Kashmir regions to generate business leads, with 34 stakeholders from Kashmir and 25 from Jammu in attendance. 

In addition to identifying potential export products such as apple, cherry, walnut, honey, saffron, rice, and gucchi, APEDA has developed and provided a draft Agri Export Plan for the Kashmir valley and Jammu division. 

Ladakh, a union territory, is working on an agro export strategy that would include prospective export items like seabuckthorn and apricots. 

According to the release, APEDA plans to hold a stakeholders' meeting in September 2021 with start-ups, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, FPOs, FPCs, UT officials, concerned officials from the agriculture university, KVKs, and ICAR institutions to boost exports of potential products from the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. 

APEDA also co-hosted a Vanijya Utsav in Leh on September 21-22, where stakeholders discussed how to link products from the union area to the international market, according to the statement. 

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