In a bid to boost the exports of agricultural produce from Ladakh, which would enhance farmers’ as well as entrepreneurs’ income, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in association with officials of the horticulture, agriculture, commerce and industry departments of Union Territory of Ladakh and Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research (DIHAR) are working out comprehensive plan of actions, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India has said today.
Following a series of interactions held recently at Ladakh, identified areas of work include enhancement of production of fruits with medicinal values including sea buckthorn, apricot and organic produce and introduction of the traceability system, capacity-building of farmers and value addition of products.
APEDA would provide technical assistance for building the capacity of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, officials, farmers, branding and marketing of Ladakhi products and making Ladakh an ‘organic’ region. APEDA would provide special assistance for branding and promotion of Ladakhi products, especially sea buckthorn which is rich in Vitamin C, omega and other essential nutrients, the ministry informed.
Emphasising the need for minimal or zero use of chemicals in the farming, during the interactions with Ladakh officials, APEDA has urged non-use of chemicals and fertilisers at the earliest and introduction of traceability systems to help in branding Ladakhi products. The focus of this collaborations is to ensure that Ladakh achieves the goal of becoming an organic region by 2025.
According to the ministry, officials of Ladakh under the Mission Organic Development Initiative have formed an organic study group, drafting of ‘organic’ certification documents and implementation of certification process in phases. The technological interventions introduced by DIHAR to Ladakh administration is helping farmers grow leafy vegetables at -25 degrees.
APEDA would be continuously working with officials from agriculture and horticulture departments of Ladakh, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Jammu, DIHAR, and entrepreneurs for comprehensive development of agriculture in Ladakh.