1. Agriculture World

First Conference Cum International Buyer Seller Meet for Organic Products Held in Gangtok,

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, ‘APEDA’ under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, jointly with the Government of Sikkim & Indian Chamber of Commerce organized the first Conference cum International Buyer Seller Meet for organic products from 21-22 November 2019 in Gangtok, to showcase the strength of North East Region (NER) and Sikkim in particular, in its effort to open the export window for Sikkim organic products. Sikkim has been declared as India’s First organic certified State in the year 2016. Sikkim Government has taken enormous efforts to encourage the farmers, entrepreneurs and exporters from the state for organic production, processing and exports.

APEDA, over the years has taken special initiatives to promote the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) to enable the organic stakeholders to derive the benefits of organic agriculture and exports. The event was inaugurated by Loknath Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, IPR, Printing & Stationaries Department, Government of Sikkim in presence of other dignitaries.

A total of 17 buyers from 13 countries viz., France, Switzerland, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal and Bangladesh, 25 major exporters and 28 FPOs/FPCs from Sikkim participated. Importers/Buyers spoke about their business, commodities of interest and promised to explore import of NER specific organic produce.

Exhibition stalls were set up to display a wide array of organic products viz., Cherry Pepper, kiwi, mandarin orange, buckwheat, tea, black pepper, large cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc. to promote the organic products of Sikkim by APEDA, Govt. of Sikkim, the FPOs/FPCs and various other agencies.

Loknath Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, IPR, Printing & Stationeries Department, Government of Sikkim in his inaugural speech mentioned that Agriculture is one of the priority sectors for the government of Sikkim with the primary focus to generate more income for the farmers in the state, for which, the state government is making necessary efforts for value addition and processing and is optimistic that the buyer seller meet will create huge demand in the international market. He also requested the international buyers to develop a long term relationship with the FPOs/FPCs and progressive farmers for continuous business and market.

Further, he stressed on the fact that robust supply chain is the need of the hour to connect the consumers with the farmers, for which 28 FPOs have been formed in Sikkim to promote organic farming and value chain development focusing on Turmeric, cardamom, and ginger with clear need  for developing food processing units and cold storages in the state along with effective marketing strategies and investments.

Telang, IAS, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Horticulture Departments, Government of Sikkim informed that the state is focusing on developing food processing industries to promote processed foods and value addition from the state, which will also reduce logistic costs and bring more profit to the farmers of the state. Dr. Saswati Bose, Deputy General Manager, APEDA explained the role of APEDA in promoting export from the North Eastern region (NER), APEDA’s role in the National Programme on the Organic Production (NPOP) and initiatives taken by APED including organizing the national and International conferences and B2B meetings to promote exports from India.

Ms. Madhuparna Bhowmick, Director, ICC added that the conference cum international buyer seller meet will bring the opportunity to the traditional growers of spices, kiwis, cardamom and other crops across Sikkim to get their chance to interact face-to-face with the international buyers and country-wide array of exporters.

The inauguration ended with a vote of thanks by M.K Pradhan, Principal Director, Agriculture, Govt. of Sikkim.

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