Itanagar: In a bid to boost the export of agricultural and allied sector products from the state, the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB) inked a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s Lulu Hypermarket LLC, Dubai, on the sidelines of the World Food India 2023 event in New Delhi recently.
The primary focus of this MoU is the export of key products, such as oranges and pumpkins, along with other agricultural goods, from Arunachal Pradesh to Gulf countries.
Lulu Hypermarkets, a prominent business conglomerate with a global presence, boasting a turnover of USD 8.5 billion and a network of over 200 hypermarkets worldwide will facilitate this endeavour.
The MoU was formally signed by APAMB’s chief executive officer, Okit Paling and M/s Lulu Hypermarkets LLC’s chief managing director, Zulfikar Kadavath, in the presence of key stakeholders, industry leaders, and government officials, underscoring the pivotal role of this partnership in advancing agricultural trade and fostering economic growth.
The World Food India 2023 event, a three-day extravaganza held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from November 3 to 5, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, forming part of the International Year of Millets (IYoM) activities.
This collaboration promises to open new horizons for Arunachal Pradesh’s agricultural community, providing farmers and producers with a global platform to exhibit their products. Renowned for their global presence and commitment to quality, Lulu Hypermarkets will collaborate closely with APAMB to streamline the export of a diverse array of agricultural and allied sector products from the state.
The ultimate aim is to stimulate economic growth, enhance exports, and elevate the well-being of the farming community.
CEO Paling expressed his enthusiasm about this collaboration.
“This MoU marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to support and promote our agricultural community. Partnering with M/s Lulu Hypermarkets not only offers a platform for our farmers to showcase their products on a global stage but also contributes to the growth of the agricultural sector in the region,” he said
Paling said the MoU is also the culmination of sustained negotiations between APAMB and Lulu Group, which began with the launch of organic oranges from Arunachal in a Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai on December 1, 2022, during a visit by a team of officers from the state.
The CMD of M/s Lulu Hypermarkets LLC shared their excitement about the collaboration and emphasised their commitment to sourcing high-quality agricultural products from APAMB.
“We believe in the potential of the Indian agricultural sector, and this partnership aligns with our mission to offer our customers the finest and freshest produce. We look forward to a productive and enduring collaboration with APAMB,” a spokesperson from M/s Lulu Hypermarkets LLC said.
APAMB is also actively exploring opportunities with Singapore-based exporters and plans to leverage cargo flights from Guwahati to Singapore.
CEO Paling revealed that this year, APAMB intends to transform Bangalore into the “orange city” through an agreement with Swiggy.
The board has formulated a plan to supply more than 80 metric tons of Arunachal oranges to Swiggy this season, with an agreement in the pipeline.
When asked about the fluctuations in the fruit and vegetable market, Paling explained that agricultural marketing operates in a dynamic pricing environment, with rates subject to daily fluctuations, not to mention seasonal changes.
As a marketer, APAMB and farmers need to prioritize maintaining high-quality grading and adhering to scientific farming practices. For instance, the price per kilogram of Grade A kiwi from Ziro has reached a remarkable rate of Rs 185-190 this season, the highest in recent times.
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Paling further disclosed that in the past few years, the price of large cardamom had hit rock bottom, but this season, after many years, it is expected to surpass the four-figure mark per kilogram.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed his happiness over the agreement.
“Delighted to share that Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB) has signed a five-year MoU with Lulu Hypermarket LLC, Dubai, UAE, for supply of oranges and vegetables to Gulf countries,” Khandu said on X.
This agreement paves the way for supply of oranges and vegetables to Gulf countries, signifying an important milestone in agriculture and market linkage. The MoU shall provide opportunities to our farmers to further extend their market presence on a global scale and also make agriculture more lucrative for them, the chief minister said.
“I extend my best wishes to all those involved in this landmark agreement,” he added.
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