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EVENTS

Export policy for agri products in offing, says commerce secy at RBSM
Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Government of India is coming out with an export policy for agricultural and other related products. This was stated by Rita Teaotia at the second Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM) for Export of Mangoes and Other Tropical Fruits, currently underway at the Lalit, Mumbai.

During her address at the two-day meet, which was organised under the aegis of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she urged state governments to send their inputs to the Centre, as the draft export policy has been put in public domain already.

Teaotia also asked APEDA to explore the higher possibilities as to how the exports of agri products could be multiplied using the sea route. She opined that this channel would be cheaper and reduce the exporting cost for the exporters.

The commerce secretary elaborated that despite India growing multiple varieties of mangoes, their exports are confined to only two to three varieties. Therefore, APEDA should take initiatives to promote multiple varieties of mangoes, so that exports could be accelerated.

She added that India was the fruit basket of the world and provided a wide range of high-quality and tasty tropical fruits. 

Teaotia stated that India was the world’s largest producer of mangoes, which are called the king of fruits and hold pride of place in the country’s fruit basket.

It accounts for about 41 per cent of total world production. The country grows nearly 1,000 varieties of mangoes across the country, and out of these, 11 commercial varieties are grown in over 10 states. With this strength, India exports mangoes to over 50 countries, and its exports reached 52,761 metric tonne in 2016-17. 

Teaotia highlighted that export of agri products has been the priority of the Government of India. APEDA, through the ministry of commerce and industry, has been instrumental in promoting quality agri products.

As per its mandate, APEDA has provided support for the required infrastructure across the country in terms of pack houses with post-harvest treatment facilities and centres for perishable cargo agro complex at major airports. 

This has helped the industry to increase their exports of quality produce up to a large extent.

“Considering the requirement of food safety and traceability by importing countries, India has taken a number of measures by strengthening the backward linkages in the production supply chain, setting up the required infrastructure in terms of pack houses and post-harvest treatment facilities, which has enabled to get market access for fruits in various countries in the past,” Teaotia said.

In his address, D K Singh, chairman, APEDA, shared the initiatives taken by the authority to boost exports and further assess the export scenario.

While welcoming the delegates at the RBSM, Singh informed that due to the success of the inaugural RBSM, organised in Mumbai in 2017, APEDA decided to continue the same efforts and organised the second meet in the series for mangoes.

On this occasion, a range of other tropical fruits was added to the programme. He informed that 44 importers from 18 countries participated, along with 126 exporters.

It received a very good response from state governments. The Governments of 13 states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tripura participated in the event.

“These state governments have organised their participation by displaying a range of fruits grown in their states on a commercial scale. The Central Research Institute, the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) and the Indian Institute of Packaging also joined the event, and displayed their packaging developed for fresh fruits and vegetables,” Singh said.

“The possibilities are rising for the larger acceptability of Indian mangoes and other tropical fruits in a number of countries, including Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Iran, Bahrain Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Israel, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates,” he added.

To boost the confidence of the buyers who came from various countries, a visit to the post-harvest infrastructure set-up in the supply chain of export of fresh fruits and vegetables from India has been organised on May 16, 2018.

Three post-harvest treatment facilities, for irradiation, vapour heat treatment and hot water treatment facilities, would be shown to the buyers. These have been set up by Government of Maharashtra with funding by APEDA. 

The programme witnessed the presence of senior officers of the various state governments.

These included Chiranjiv Choudhary, commissioner, horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Nagaraju, managing director, Karnataka Mango Board; Aju John Mathai, director, Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK), Kerala, and Ramakant Pandey, director, Uttar Pradesh Mandi Board.
 
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