After an almost eight-month pause, the export of agricultural products, particularly fresh vegetables, from the east UP region restarted with a shipment of 2 metric tonnes of bitter guard, round guard, and elephant foot transported to the UAE market from Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.
"The consignment of fresh vegetables shipped to UAE signalled the resurgence of green vegetable export from east UP region following Covid second wave," said CB Singh, assistant general manager of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Several roundtable talks were organised to activate foreign flights that had been halted owing to Covid-19, he said, adding that now that air services have resumed, the APEDA is confident in resuming exports of agricultural products, particularly vegetables, from this region. According to Singh, cargo flights for exporting commodities and perishable products were possible only when international flights were not available from Varanasi due to Covid-19, and transporting consignments via Lucknow and Delhi would raise transportation costs.
Initially, APEDA concentrated on Varanasi-based farm producer organisations, but today the food is supplied from FPOs in Bhadohi and Prayagraj, he said. He stated that 1MT of fresh okra and 1MT of other veggies such as bitter guard, pointed guard, elephant foot, and others were acquired from these FPOs and sent by an Air India Express flight.
According to APEDA authorities, the agri-export was shaken after international flights were non-operational. APEDA coordinated the shipment as soon as the flight took off, they said, adding that APEDA has begun collaborating with exporters for further consignments.
According to Singh, about 1,000 MT of fresh fruits and vegetables have been shipped, as well as around 10,000 MT of regional rice from east UP. After Dubai and London, other export destinations such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Iran were explored as a result of APEDA's policies.
In 2020, the APEDA plans to explore the markets for fresh Banarasi Langda, Dussehri, Chausa, and Ramkeda mangoes in the Gulf and London. A load of 80 MT of black rice grown by Chandauli farmers was also shipped to Australia, followed by a shipment to Doha (Qatar).