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India Formulates Sea Protocols to Enhance the Export of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

India is actively developing sea protocols for cost-effective and high-volume export of perishable goods, including bananas and mangoes, aiming to diversify export channels and reduce dependence on air cargo.

Shivangi Rai
Protocols will be tailored for different fruits and vegetables. (Photo: Unsplash)
Protocols will be tailored for different fruits and vegetables. (Photo: Unsplash)

India is actively formulating sea protocols to facilitate the export of fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, and jackfruit.

This strategic initiative aims to boost exports by utilizing ocean routes, offering cost advantages, and accommodating larger shipment volumes compared to air routes.

Key Developments

  1. Current Scenario- At present, most perishable goods are exported via air routes due to lower volumes and varying ripening periods.

  2. Protocol Development- The ongoing development of sea protocols takes into account factors like voyage time, scientific understanding of ripening processes, optimal harvesting times, and farmer training. Protocols will be customized for different fruits and vegetables.

  3. Advantages of Sea Route- Sea routes offer two significant advantages—cost-effectiveness and the capacity to handle larger volumes, making them an attractive option for promoting agricultural exports.

  1. Addressing Challenges- The high freight costs associated with air cargo have posed a challenge to Indian agricultural exports. The shift to sea routes aims to enhance price competitiveness and increase the export potential of perishable commodities.

  2. APEDA Initiatives- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), in collaboration with stakeholders, has initially developed sea protocols for bananas. Trial shipments are underway to Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

  3. Export Potential- The successful implementation of sea protocols is expected to substantially increase export volumes of fresh fruits and vegetables. This initiative aligns with the goal of diversifying export channels and reducing dependence on air cargo.

  4. Global Market Dynamics- Despite being the world’s largest banana producer, India currently holds only a 1% share in the global market. Enhancing export capabilities can significantly contribute to global trade in agricultural products.

  5. Collaborative Efforts- For the trial shipment of bananas, collaboration involves technical support from ICAR-Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture, marketing and distribution partnerships with companies like Del Monte, and logistics support from Maersk.

Hence, India's proactive measures in developing sea protocols for agricultural exports signify a strategic move to harness cost advantages and accommodate larger shipment volumes, addressing challenges posed by high air freight costs and aiming to enhance the country's share in the global market for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Also Read: Nitin Gadkari to be the Chief Guest for 'MFOI Awards 2023'; Flag Off 'MFOI Kisan Bharat Yatra'​

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