GUWAHATI: Assam could export wicker works and agrarian products worth around Rs 4,000 crore in fiscal 2022–2023 despite the absence of adequate export infrastructure in the state.
According to the assessment of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), an organization undertaken by the Government of India, exports of wicker works and agrarian products from Assam will touch the Rs 10,000 mark by 2026-27. According to FIEO, 70 percent of the total exports in this sector from Assam are from five districts: Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Dhemaji, Sonitpur, and Udalguri.
According to APEDA sources, in the past six years, exports from Assam have registered an 85 percent growth. The exports items of the state are bhoot jalakia, pumpkin, jackfruit, litchi, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, joha rice, black rice, red rice, etc.
According to sources, the demand for Assam honey, spices, pork, etc., has risen in some countries, of late. The prime importers of such items from Assam are the Middle East, the UK, South East Asian countries, Bangladesh, etc.
According to FIEO, the state has as many as 11 items that have GI (geographical indication) tags. The organic farming industry has also increased in the state, leading to increased demand for such items abroad. Till December 2022, the exports from the State stood at Rs 3,081 crore, and would be Rs 4,000 crore by April.
According to sources, farmers from the Northeast do not get recognition for their products as the region has no direct flights to the export destination countries. The items sent for export from Assam and the Northeast go to Kolkata or New Delhi airports, where they get the tag of the exporting agencies. This apart, the region has no facility for certification of organic products. Such products go to Kolkata for testing, and that takes time. The lack of adequate vehicles with refrigeration facilities in the state and the region also leads to the damage of perishable items. The state government encourages the local youths to opt for organic farming and reap the benefits. However, if the government does not provide the logistical support for it, the efforts towards that end will bear no fruit. The development achieved so far in this sector is the outcome of the efforts put forth by APEDA and a few international export agencies.