1. Agriculture World

Centre Boosts Apricot Export under the Brand 'Ladakh Apricot'

APEDA is focusing on improving packaging for fresh apricots, transport protocol & Brand Promotion of ‘Ladakh Apricots’ for better price realization of apricots of trans-Himalayan Ladakh.

Shivam Dwivedi
Ladakh Apricot
Ladakh Apricot

In an effort to increase the export of agricultural and food products from Ladakh, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through its export promotion body APEDA, is working with Apricot value chain stakeholders to increase exports from Ladakh under the brand 'Ladakh Apricot.'

APEDA's initiatives to promote the export of apricots and other agri-products are expected to boost the region's overall development. APEDA's export promotion strategy focuses heavily on the canopy management of apricot orchards/trees in order to achieve a more uniform and high-quality apricot harvest.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, it would aid in the continued marketing, product development, research and development (R&D), traceability enhancement, and brand promotion of the apricot, which is one of Ladakh's most important fruit crops and is locally known as 'Chuli.'

"APEDA, in collaboration with Ladakh's Horticulture Department, has also planned to organize canopy management awareness drives in Kargil and Leh, where scientists from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir (SKAUST-Kashmir) and Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) will help farmers manage their apricot orchards/trees in a better way to have a uniform harvest," the ministry said.

APEDA is also working to improve packaging for fresh apricots, transport protocols, and brand promotion of 'Ladakh Apricots' for better price realization of trans-Himalayan Ladakh apricots, which are known for their superior quality. "Work on obtaining a GI tag for the Ladakh apricot is also underway." Notably, the majority of the apricot produced in Ladakh is consumed locally, with only a small amount sold in dried form," according to the statement.

Given the importance of logistics support in the export promotion of any product, APEDA is working to increase logistics support for apricots through the air on the lines of the market linkage scheme - PARVAZ and by road to the region's nearest international exit ports in order to streamline exports from the region.

APEDA, in collaboration with the UT of Ladakh, is also assisting in the development of export infrastructures such as the establishment of integrated pack house facilities with grading lines, pre-cooling units with cold storage, and insulated/refrigerated transportation up to packhouse/exit ports, as well as common infrastructure facilities such as pre-shipment treatment facilities such as irradiation, Vapor Heat Treatment, and Hot Water Dip Treatment for compliance with Phyto-Sanit

APEDA identified fresh apricot fruit exports from the UT of Ladakh in 2021, and trial shipments were sent to Dubai near the end of the apricot season in 2021. Because of the product's unique taste and aroma, as well as the product's demand in the international market, the results and acceptability were overwhelming.

APEDA organized an international buyer-seller meeting in Leh on June 14, 2022, just before the season's apricot harvest began. More than 30 buyers from India, the United States, Bangladesh, Oman, Dubai, Mauritius, and other countries were brought together to meet with producers and suppliers of apricots and other agricultural products from the UT of Ladakh.

"As a result, for the first time, 35 MT of fresh apricots were exported from Ladakh to various countries during the 2022 season. During the season 2022, trial shipments of Ladakh Apricots were also made to countries such as Singapore, Mauritius, and Vietnam," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

Ladakh is the largest apricot producer in the country, with a total production of 15,789 tonnes, accounting for nearly 62 percent of total production. The region produced approximately 1,999 tonnes of dried apricots, making it the country's largest producer of dried apricots. Ladakh has a total area under apricot cultivation of 2,303 hectares.

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