Conference on export potential of organic products held
GUWAHATI, June 24: With the vision to harness the export potential of organic agricultural products from Assam and neighbouring states, the agricultural department of Assam under the aegis of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) organised a conference focusing on the export potential of natural, organic and geographical indications (GI) certified agro-products here on Friday.
The prime objective of the conference was to promote the export of natural, organic and GI agro-products grown in Assam and neighboring states by creating international market linkages. Key issues discussed in the event focused on agricultural products from Assam and other northeastern regions and witnessed the presence of farmers, traders and exporters.
The conference was inaugurated by Assam government’s minister for Agriculture Atul Bora. Addressing the august gathering as the chief guest, minister Atul Bora hailed the efforts and initiatives taken by APEDA and hoped that the conference will help in promoting Indian heritage, especially natural farming across the globe. He said, “The cultivation of natural, organic and GI agro products would reduce the input cost and increase farmers’ income.”
On the occasion, APEDA chairman Dr M Angamuthu said that the conference will provide an opportunity for the producers and processors of Assam to showcase their products and promote the exports as well as their wholesale and retail sales. “The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote GI products and natural products having very unique characteristics has been fulfilled by northeastern states, including Assam. This workshop will prove a benchmark to promote organic products,” Angamuthu said.
APEDA chairman Dr Angamuthu further said, “We aim to create a platform for the exporters to get the products directly from the producer group and the processors. This event will link the producers and processors of Assam and exporters from other parts of the country,” and added that it helps in expanding the base of the export pockets in the northeastern states, including Assam and increase the employment opportunities among the people of the state.
At the workshop, farmers, FPOs, entrepreneurs and government officials were advised to fulfill all the basic requirements such as quality parameters, nutritional values, lab testing and health parameters. The APEDA has also planned to facilitate capacity building to officials of the Agriculture Ministry. The identified officials would be sent in batches to Bangalore, Maharashtra, Gujarat, etc.
More than 20 exporters, 70 farmer producers organisations or farmers producer companies participated in the event. Eighteen stalls displayed a range of natural, organic and GI products.
Notably, there are 417 registered GI products in India out of which around 150 GI-tagged products are agricultural and food products. There are 100 registered GI products which fall under the category of APEDA scheduled products.
Dr Ashish Kumar Bhutani, additional chief secretary-cum-Agriculture Production commissioner, Assam government was also present on the occasion among others.