New Delhi, 17 March 2021: First Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) organised by APEDA to boost exports potential of India’s agricultural and processed food products during COVID19 pandemic drew huge response from participants, exporters and buyers from countries including India, UAE, Brazil, New Zealand and France.

The VTF organised during March 10-12, 2021 drew more than 404 visitors. There were 313 exhibitors registered for the mega virtual event where 128 stalls were set up to showcase products from the categories – basmati rice, non-basmati rice, millets, wheat, maize, groundnut and coarse grains.

The buyers from around the globe showed distributed interest in a variety of product categories displayed during VTF.

The fair with a theme ‘India Rice and Agro Commodity’, focussed on showcasing the exports potential of various agricultural commodities. Importers as well as exporters were key participants of the VTF. For each day during VTF, the potential buyers or importers and visitors keenly explored a wide range of food products presented by the exporters.

All the exhibitor stalls looked attractive and integrated well with the event’s theme. All the stalls had their product catalogues, product lists and a short video of their company.

Indian and international buyers from the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, New Zealand, France, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Fiji, Philippines, Qatar, Sudan, Myanmar, Netherlands, and Peru had registered for the virtual events. The promotion of VTF was also generated with the support of Indian Embassies abroad. An aggressive social media campaign for promotion of VTF was initiated.

Because of COVID19 related restrictions on physical travel and trade, APEDA has initiated the concept of VTF for sustaining India’s agricultural and processed food products exports and also exploring new markets for expanding export footprints.

In the pre-COVID19 era, trade fairs and exhibitions have been instrumental in promoting export of agricultural foods by APEDA. In the VTF, the trade facilitations take place using interactive technology.

At VTF, the exporters and importer meetings were held with no interruption via audio as well as video sessions. The fair provided the facility workshops, product launches, live streams and webinars. The virtual meet facilitated private meetings as well as personalized meetings.

The online interactions between exporters and importers and data exchanged during such interaction were secured and could be accessed only by parties concerned.

Such virtual events also provide cost effective and productive platforms where the buyers and sellers could negotiate or discuss trade face to face giving a feel of real time exhibitions or fairs.

APEDA has been a pioneer in taking IT initiatives in the past in terms of making its process system online, implementation of traceability and adoption of advanced technology.