NEW DELHI: With the mandate to promote agri export of Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, APEDA has scripted new success stories by taking several initiatives to sensitise growers, exporters, state government officials and other stakeholders on the export potential of agricultural products and requirements under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) for exports as the export of agricultural products of the regions has picked up.
With the support of APEDA, which is a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir exported Geographical Indications (GI) certified product Kashmir Saffron from Srinagar to Dubai and other Middle Eastern markets during March-April 2021.
A few months after the offices of APEDA got functional in Jammu and Srinagar in February 2021, a shipment of Mishri variety Kashmir Valley Cherries was carried out from Srinagar to Dubai for the first time followed by commercial shipments creating international market for Indian Cherries during the month of June-July 2021 followed by repeat orders for Indian Cherries. The shipment was handled by local entrepreneurs from Kashmir Valley with the established exporter from Mumbai to their counterpart in Dubai.
Despite pandemic situation and travel restrictions, soon after the offices of APEDA got functional in Jammu and Srinagar in February 2021, shipment of Mishri variety Kashmir Valley Cherries was carried out from Srinagar to Dubai for the first time and it was followed by repeat orders for Indian Cherries. The shipment was handled by local entrepreneurs from Kashmir Valley with the established exporter from Mumbai to their counterpart in Dubai.
In another major boost to export activities in the Valley, shipments of Kashmir Valley fragrance rice Mushkbudji and Acacia honey have been planned and samples have already been sent during August 2021 by the Kashmir Valley startups/new entrepreneurs to Lulu Group FMCG Dubai, Oman and other Middle Eastern markets. Further, samples of Kashmir Valley Apples have also been planned during September 2021 to Oman, Qatar, Dubai and other Middle Eastern markets for the shipment.
It is expected that regular supplies will take place from Kashmir Valley to the Middle Eastern and other international markets once the export value chain by road followed by sea container is established.
With the help of APEDA, shipment of Ladakh Apricots was carried out from Leh to Dubai for the first time followed by commercial shipments of Ladakh Halman Apricot during the month of August-September 2021. The shipment was handled by local entrepreneurs from Kargil with the established exporter from Mumbai to their counterpart in Dubai.
Product samples of Seabuckthorn such as juice, pulp, concentrate, oil and herbal fusion tea have been obtained and provided during September 2021 to Indian corporate food producers for development of products for domestic as well as overseas markets. The product development may take some time to launch in the international food market.
APEDA has also carried out sensitization of officials of Seed Certification, Directorate of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) of Srinagar and Jammu Regions for their convergence into Organic Certification Agency under NPOP during July 2021.
APEDA signed MoUs with Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and Jammu & Kashmir Trade Promotion Organisation (JKTPO) for technical support and promotional activities for enhancing productivity and promotion of potential products from the region.
Considering the potential and forthcoming need of export infrastructure for the region, the APEDA took up the issue of a comprehensive export logistics requirements for UT of Jammu and Kashmir with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Central Warehousing Corporation, and other concerned departments during July 2021 for creation of Customs Clearance Facility, smooth X-ray and handling for perishable commodities and issuance of Phytosanitary Certificate facility at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh airports.
Following Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on enhancing merchandise exports to USD 400 billion USD from India during August 2021, APEDA organized virtual buyer seller meets in J&K to generate business enquiries and 34 stakeholders from Kashmir and 25 stakeholders from Jammu participated in the meet.
APEDA has also developed and provided a draft Agri Export Plan for UT of Jammu and Kashmir for both the regions of Kashmir valley and Jammu division and identified potential products for exports such as Apple, Cherry, Walnut, Honey, Saffron, Rice, Gucchi.
The UT of Ladakh is in process of development of an agri export plan covering identified potential products for exports such as Seabuckthorn, Apricots and certified organic products after the draft Agri Export Plan was prepared by APEDA during July 2021.
APEDA planned stakeholders’ consultation involving startups, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, FPOs, FPCs, UT officials, concerned officials from agriculture university, KVKs, ICAR institutions to augment export of potential products from UT of Jammu and Kashmir during September 2021.
Capacity building programme for farmers, cooperatives, start-up companies and entrepreneurs was organized at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) Srinagar on September 23, 2021 under Vanijya Saptah in Jammu and Kashmir. At the event, above 390 participants physically and 690 participants, including from all KVKs of UT of Jammu and Kashmir, attended it virtually.
APEDA also co-organized Vanijya Utsav held in Leh from September 21 to 22. At the event, discussions with the stakeholders took place regarding linking identified products to the international market from the UT of Ladakh.