IMPHAL: In a move towards harnessing export potential of naturally grown, organic certified fresh pineapples of north-eastern region (NER), Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) on Saturday organized an in-store export promotion programme in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Manipur's pineapples among consumers.
The 'in-store promotion show' of organic certified fibre rich Kwe variety of pineapples from Manipur, was organized at the Lulu hyper market, Dubai's largest supermarket in association with Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) of Government of Manipur. This event is part of APEDA's strategy to promote locally produced agricultural products to the international markets.
Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) has supported the sourcing of organic certified Kwe variety of pineapples directly from the farmers of Manipur. The Manipur pineapple, which is showcased with the support from APEDA, is fibre-rich sweetener from NER. The showcased pineapples are procured from Thayong Organic Producer Company Ltd in Imphal East district, Manipur.
At the in-store export promotion show, consumers were offered Manipur pineapple to taste the sweetness of the fruit. Northeast pineapple is one of the most important tropical fruits grown in the NER and the fibre-rich fruit is cultivated in almost all the region. On the occasion, APEDA chairman Dr. M. Angamuthu stressed promoting processed form of value-added pineapple to sustain in the global export market for a longer time period.
"We need to focus on promoting pineapple sourced from farmers in processed form in the Gulf countries through Lulu Group. It will help farmers in better price realization of their produce," Dr Angamuthu said. P Vaiphel, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur, also attended the meet.
With a production of 134.82 metric tonne (MT) in 2020-21, Manipur ranks sixth in pineapple production having a share of 7.46 per cent in total production in India. The top ten importing countries of Indian pineapples are UAE, Nepal, Qatar, Maldives, USA, Bhutan, Belgium, Iran, Bahrain and Oman. A quantity of 7665.42 MT of pineapples valued at USD 4.45 million was exported in the year 2021-22.
With the intervention of APEDA, there has been a significant increase in the export of agricultural produce from NE states like Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya in the last few years. Besides pineapple, the APEDA has also decided to take forward the promotion of other locally grown unique horticultural products from Manipur to the international market. The other unique products from Manipur are tamenglong orange, kachai lemon, black rice, etc.
Tripura was the first north-eastern state to export its 'queen' variety of pineapple to Dubai and Doha in 2018. Tripura's pineapple was also exported to Bangladesh in 2020. Assam also made a debut in pineapple export to Dubai in 2019.
The NE region witnessed an 85.34 percent growth in the export of agricultural products in the last six years as it increased from USD 2.52 million in 2016-17 to USD 17.2 million in 2021-22. The major destination of export has been Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Middle East, the UK and Europe.
APEDA aims at creating a platform in Manipur for the exporters to get the products directly from the producer group and the processors. The platform will link the producers and processors of Assam and exporters from other parts of the country that would expand the base of the export pockets in the north-eastern states, including Manipur and increase the employment opportunities among the people of the state, stated a press release.