Guwahati: In a major push toward harnessing the export potential of naturally grown fresh pineapples from the northeastern states, the Agricultural and processed food products (APEDA) held an in-store export promotion program in Dubai on Saturday to promote Assam pineapples to consumers for wider acceptance in the Gulf countries.

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

The certified organic pineapples come directly from farmers in Assam and are presented at the Lulu hypermarket in Dubai with the help of APEDA. The featured pineapples are from Hmarkhawlien village under Lakhipur sub-division in Cachar district of Assam.

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

APEDA President, Dr. M. Angamuthu, has focused on promoting a value-added processed form of pineapple from the northeastern states to sustain the global export market for a longer period. long.

“We must focus on promoting pineapple from farmers in processed form in the Gulf countries in collaboration with private entities, including the Lulu group. This will help farmers better realize the prices of their products,” Angamuthu said, adding that 10 to 15 aggregators should be identified to expedite hassle-free export from northeastern states.

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

Notably, Assam pineapple is one of the most widely grown tropical fruits in the North Eastern Region (NER) and the fiber-rich fruit is grown almost throughout the region.

With a production of 338.98 metric tons in 2020-2021, Assam ranks second in pineapple production with a share of 18.75% of the total production in India.

The top ten importing countries of Indian pineapples are United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Qatar, Maldives, United States, Bhutan, Belgium, Iran, Bahrain and Oman. A quantity of 7665.42 metric tons of pineapple worth USD 4.45 million was exported in the year 2021-22.

Before Assam made its debut in exporting pineapples to Dubai in 2019, Tripura was the first state in the northeast to export its “queen” variety of pineapples to Dubai and Doha in 2018. Tripura pineapple was also exported to Bangladesh in 2020.

With the intervention of APEDA, there has been a significant increase in exports of agricultural products from the north eastern states like Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya over the past few years.

The North East region has seen an 85.34% growth in exports of agricultural products over the past six years, rising from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The main export destination was Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Over the past three years, APEDA has organized 136 capacity building programs on export awareness in different parts of the region. The highest 62 capacity building programs were organized in the region in 2019-20, while 21 in 2020-21 and 53 such programs were organized by APEDA in 2021-22.

In addition to capacity building initiatives, APEDA has organized 22 international buyers’ and sellers’ meetings and trade fairs in the region over the past three years.

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