Mizoram grown pineapples make way to Dubai
Representational image Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: In a major boost towards harnessing the export potential of naturally-grown fresh pineapples of the northeastern states, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products (APEDA) on Saturday organised an in-store export promotion programme in Dubai to promote Assam’s pineapples among consumers for wider acceptance in the Gulf countries.

The ‘in-store promotion show’ of pineapples from Assam, which was organised in association with Dubai’s largest supermarket group Lulu Group, is part of APEDA’s strategy to promote locally produced agricultural products in the international markets.

The organic certified pineapples are directly sourced from the farmers of Assam and showcased at the Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai with assistance from APEDA. The showcased pineapples are procured from Hmarkhawlien village under the Lakhipur sub-division in Assam’s Cachar district.

At the in-store export promotion show, consumers were offered Assam pineapple to taste the sweetness of the fruit.

APEDA Chairman Dr M. Angamuthu stressed promoting a processed form of value-added pineapple from northeastern states to sustain the global export market for a longer period.

“We need to focus on promoting pineapple sourced from farmers in processed form in the Gulf countries in collaboration with private entities including Lulu Group. It will help farmers in better price realisation of their produce,” Angamuthu said, adding that 10-15 aggregators should be identified for expediting hassle-free export from Northeastern states.

The NE region is geopolitically important as it shares international boundaries with China and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, making it a potential hub for the export of agricultural produce to neighbouring countries as well as other foreign destinations.

Notably, Assam’s pineapple is one of the most important tropical fruits grown in the northeastern region (NER) and the fibre-rich fruit is cultivated in almost all of the region.

With a production of 338.98 metric tonnes in 2020-21, Assam ranks second in pineapple production having a share of 18.75 per cent of total production in India.

The top ten importing countries of Indian pineapples are UAE, Nepal, Qatar, Maldives, USA, Bhutan, Belgium, Iran, Bahrain and Oman. A quantity of 7665.42 metric tonnes of pineapples valued at USD 4.45 million was exported in the year 2021-22.

Before Assam made a debut in pineapple export to Dubai in 2019, Tripura was the first northeastern state to export its ‘queen’ variety of pineapple to Dubai and Doha in 2018. Tripura’s pineapple was also exported to Bangladesh in 2020.

With the intervention of APEDA, there has been a significant increase in the export of agricultural produce from NE states like Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya in the last few years.

The NE region witnessed an 85.34 per cent growth in the export of agricultural products in the last six years as it increased from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The major destination of export has been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the UK and Europe.

In the last three years, APEDA organised 136 capacity-building programmes on export awareness across the different parts of the region. The highest 62 capacity-building programmes were held in the region in 2019-20, while 21 in 2020-21 and 53 such programmes were organised by APEDA in the year 2021-22.

Apart from capacity-building initiatives, APEDA facilitated 22 International Buyer-Seller Meets as well as trade fairs in the region in the last three years.

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