APEDA sends first trial shipment of vegetables from Varanasi to Dubai

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) today dispatched the first trial shipment of vegetables by sea route from Varanasi to Dubai.

APEDA is in the process of setting up agri export hubs in 5 districts of Uttar Pradesh in its endeavor to promote exports from agriculture produce rich regions of India.
APEDA said it is considering the potential of production of fruits and vegetables in Varanasi region comprising 5 districts, namely, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sant Ravidas Nagar.
Paban Kumar Borthakur, chairman of APEDA and Deepak Agrawal, commissioner of Varanasi region flagged off the first trial shipment of one container of fresh vegetables from Varanasi today.
APEDA organized an export promotion programme and buyer-seller meet (BSM) for fresh vegetables this year in Varanasi, which was attended by 100 farmers of the region and exporters from Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh.
The BSM provided a platform to link the FPOs and progressive farmers to prominent exporters. The interaction between exporters and farmers of the region was very helpful in terms of understanding the potential of the region, quality of vegetables and fruits produced, infrastructure required and convincing the farmers in cultivating export oriented variety of crops and discussing the concerns of both the stakeholders, APEDA stated. 
The BSM was followed by field visits to production sites. Exporters showed keen interest in exporting vegetables and fruits of the region provided quality of produce is ensured. 
Vegetables and Fruits Exporters Association (VAFA), Mumbai signed an MoU with four FPOs for sourcing fresh vegetables and fruits for export to international markets. FPOs have been engaged in ensuring supply of quality produce from the region. The initiative of setting up the agri export hub in Varanasi is now yielding results with the sending of the first trial shipment of vegetables sourced from FPOs in Varanasi region to Dubai by sea route for the first time today.
APEDA in association with the Uttar Pradesh government organised the trial shipment of one container of fresh vegetables by sea route to Dubai. The container will have the capacity to carry 14 tonnes of fresh vegetables. Exports will be undertaken by an export house from Mumbai supported by VAFA and sourced from three FPOs of Ghazipur and Varanasi.
The produce consolidated from the FPOs have been processed and packed at Concor Cargo facility, Rajatalab, Varanasi which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India in July 2018.
To fast-track the activities taken up for the Export Hub at Varanasi, a project office of APEDA is being set up at Varanasi soon for co-ordination and facilitation of all activities. A committee has also been formed under the chairmanship of Commissioner Varanasi Division, with all the stakeholders. 
The major task of the committee will be to supervise and fast-track the development of infrastructure, strengthening backward linkage and supply chain for export of agriculture products to international market.