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New Delhi: India’s northeast region has witnessed more than 85% growth in the export of agricultural products over the last six years, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said on Friday.

“Export has reached to $17.2 million in 2021-22 from $2.52 million in 2016-17. The major destinations of export has been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the UK, and Europe," it added.

There has been a significant increase in export of agricultural produce from northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

To provide potential market linkages, the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been organising field visits of importers to provide them with first hand information on qualitative cultivation practices followed by farmers by inviting importers from neighbouring countries, the Middle East, far east countries, European nations and Australia, etc. The field visits were carried out in all eight states in the region.

“APEDA has also planned to undertake several other projects like capacity building of 80 budding entrepreneurs and exporters from the region, the Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and the state govt. officials, organize skill development and training in food processing, value addition on horticultural produce, etc," the ministry said.

APEDA has extended its support to undertake branding and promotion of northeast products such as kiwi wine, processed foods, carrying out a wet sampling of Joha Rice Pulao, Black Rice kheer, etc.

As part of capacity building, APEDA organised skill development programmes for manufacturers, exporters and entrepreneurs to utilise the local produce for value addition and export.

Training programmes are being held in different states of the Northeast in association with the Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore (CFTRI) and Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), for five days, it said.

APEDA under its Agricultural Export Policy has been encouraging states to harness the potential of farm produce exports. It aims to create a platform for buyers to secure products directly from producer groups and processors.

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