JAMMU, JANUARY 12, 2021: Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Department, Navin Choudhary, today convened a meeting with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) officials to discuss and work out strategies for promotion of Agri-Export from Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Secretary, Civil Aviation Department, Special Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Director APEDA New Delhi, Directors Horticulture Jammu and Kashmir, Director Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department Jammu, Director Horticulture P&M and other concerned while Director Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department Kashmir participated via video conferencing.

While discussing air cargo capacity at terminals in Jammu and Srinagar Airports to export Agri-products from J&K, Principal Secretary called for enhancing air cargo capacity of the airports so that cargo operations could be started from the airports to various domestic destinations. He said that in beginning cargo flights could be operated domestically from Srinagar airport once a week or once a month from Jammu to metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Chennai.

Director APEDA gave a detailed presentation about the operations, scope and mandate of the agency to market and subsequently sell the produce from J&K to domestic as well as international markets.

Spelling out various opportunities in Agri-Export, he said that there are emerging new markets with favourable environment in export oriented production besides development of protocols for transport, strengthening of Land Customs Stations and having an advantage of connectivity to global market. He further explained the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 saying that it is a stable policy regime established with infrastructural and logistic development to boost exports. “Under the policy the main focus is on clusters, ODOP (One District, One Product), product development and value addition besides promoting value added organic exports”, he added.

He said that walnuts, saffron, rice, apple, almonds and other fresh fruits and vegetables can be promoted for organized production with introduction of commercial and market driven varieties besides pre and post harvest practices can also be introduced as per target market in a cohesive manner.

He said that exports of certified organic products are taking place from the region adding that the area under certification in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is 25003 hectare (approx) during 2019 which included 15800 hectare wild area with production of 33879 MT and 18682 registered farmers in Trace Net for export of certified organic products.

Principal Secretary directed the concerned officers to form Committees in every district for verification and identification of local agriculture and horticulture or vegetable products for marketing. He asked them to utilize seed quality certification body for formation of Agri Certification body to register and check quality of local produce so that they could be efficiently marketed and sold. “There is huge potential in the UT to enhance production and productivity for exports of certified organic products,” he added.