In order to boost the exports of citrus and its value-added products, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICAR-Central Citrus Research Institute (ICAR-CCRI), Nagpur.
The MoU envisages promoting export by focussing on creation of product-specific clusters along with the development of technologies by APEDA and ICAR-CCRI with a focus on efficient and precision farming.
The collaboration with two institutions would focus on diversifying the export basket, destinations and boosting high-value agricultural product exports through establishing Brand India globally. Market development and traceability in citrus which includes strengthening forward and backward linkages, branding and marketing and establishment of market intelligence cell, the MoU states.
According to the collaboration, product development work comprising field digitisation, efficient quality control measures (sanitary and phytosanitary), development of organic farms would be taken care of. APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also organise capacity building programmes for farmers, entrepreneurs, exporters and other stakeholders to promote agribusinesses and exports.
MoU, signed recently at Nagpur at the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India and Dr. M. Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, aims at promotion and handholding of farmers producer organisations (FPOs) and farmer producer companies (FPCs) and linking them with international markets.
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According to the MoU, APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would collaborate on developing climate-resilient agriculture, promoting GAP certification, blockchain technologies and shaping business models around the needs of the farmers. The development of export protocols for citrus especially the sea transport for long-distance markets would be undertaken.
The MoU also aims at pursuing collaborative activities that enhance technology transfer and technical expertise of the research institute and strengthening existing laboratory facilities for testing as per the requirement of importing countries and for obtaining NABL accreditation and APEDA recognition.
“There would be need assessment, technology development and dissemination for citrus for export promotion by APEDA which would also develop detection techniques in advance to boost agri-exports. Both the institutions would undertake collaborative projects for the development for value-added products of oranges and other citrus fruits and carry out training and research consultancy,” the MoU states.
APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also develop standard operating procedures (SOP) of citrus fruits for exports which would include pre and post-harvest management, residue control, post-harvest interval and shelf life development.
Export-oriented extension activities at the farm level to be carried out in association with the active FPOs or NGOs in the respective states and districts.
The MoU also aims at developing an end-to-end sustainable value chain with APEDA to promote better consignment commitment to importing countries along with the export promotion of Geographical Indication (GI) tagged Nagpur orange and organic citrus products from Maharashtra. ICAR-CCRI would contribute in addressing the challenges in export like development of a real-time solution for pests and diseases.
For boosting value-addition and farmers’ income, APEDA has signed a series of MoUs with ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR), Hyderabad; Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore; National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) among various other institutions.