Khasi Mandarin, the unique variety of orange produced in Meghalaya, may soon go global with India signing a deal for agricultural and horticultural exports.
India signed the deals with eight countries — the US, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Iran. It is scouting for more markets as it seeks to liberalise trade in farm products and expand its exports.
Orange is a major horticulture crop in Meghalaya with an estimated area of over 10,000 hectares under this crop and production of about 50,000 metric tonne (MT) annually.
The variety grown in the state, Khasi Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), which has geographical indication (GI) registry, is considered unique for its high sugar content that makes it suitable for value addition like concentrates and packed ready-to-drink juice.
Shipments to Dubai from Varanasi contained chilli from Uttar Pradesh. Pineapples were sent from Guwahati and oranges from Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Both Varanasi and Guwahati now have complete infrastructure for exports, including phytosanitary certification.
India has also filed market access requests for 35 agricultural products with over a dozen countries, an official familiar with the development said.
Phytosanitary certification is a formal declaration by an exporting country guaranteeing that shipments are free of pests and plant diseases, and meet the requirements of the importing country. Similar deals have been signed with Taiwan, which will allow exports of Indian lily bulbs.
Canada has cleared Indian mangoes, grapes, pomegranate, banana, litchi, papaya, custard apple and okra for export. Chile has approved coconut fibre and walnut. South Korea and Malaysia too have agreed to buy Indian mangoes. Ecuador is the latest country to clear Indian rice.
New export hubs for horticultural produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, are being opened in smaller cities as part of the strategy to provide direct global access to local farmers.
“Trial shipments were recently sent from Varanasi and Guwahati. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, in association with our ministry, has identified 70 districts as potential export hubs,” the official added.
Source: The Shillong Times