Meghalaya exports first pineapple shipment to UAE; strengthens linkage with domestic market

Meghalaya exports first pineapple consignment to UAE; strengthens linkage with domestic markets

The Government of Meghalaya’s ongoing pineapple market linkage initiatives have facilitated the export of 3.5 million tonnes of organically grown crops to the Middle East. This marks the first international shipment of the current season under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Meghalaya State Agriculture Marketing Board and Lulu Group International. The MoU was signed in the presence of Meghalaya’s agriculture minister, Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, in November 2023 during the ‘World Food India‘ event organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.

This year’s pineapple exports have seen a significant increase in price realization compared to previous years, driven by improved fruit quality and strategic market positioning. Last year, exports of 20 MT of GI-tagged Khasi mandarin to Dubai achieved double the price realizations compared to local markets. This year’s consignment continues to meet international standards, reinforcing Meghalaya’s reputation as a supplier of premium agricultural produce and ensuring better returns for the state’s farmers.

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The pineapples were sourced from several villages in the Tikirikilla block of West Garo Hills, under the supervision of the Muktidata Multipurpose Cooperative Society. As the season progresses, additional consignments from other parts of Khasi and Garo Hills will be dispatched, further enhancing farmers’ income.

This trade is part of the ‘Meghalaya Collectives’ initiative, a Government of Meghalaya strategy aimed at collective marketing for small-scale farmers. Through this initiative, the government provides packaging, branding, testing, and marketing support to agri-entrepreneurs and farmer cooperatives. The initiative aims to expand into new domestic and international markets for the state’s agri-produce, leveraging modern trade channels, e-commerce platforms, and partnerships with prestigious brands.

Another step in this direction is the recent collaboration with Mother Dairy Fruits and Vegetables, under which a trial shipment of 250 kg of pineapples was sent to Delhi. These pineapples were made available for sale and free sampling in 10 Safal retail outlets across Delhi. The positive consumer response led to Mother Dairy placing an order for over 300 tonnes for the current season, with plans to expand sales to more outlets as the season progresses. The price realization for pineapple farmers through this trade is expected to be nearly double what they receive in local markets. Mother Dairy has also committed to exploring similar linkages with other spices and fresh produce from the state.

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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma recently visited a Safal outlet (Mother Dairy’s fresh produce retail chain) in New Delhi, highlighting the state’s dedication to promoting its agricultural produce. This initiative aims to establish a consistent value chain, ensuring regular availability of fruits to customers in Delhi and beyond.

Managing Director of Mother Dairy Fruits and Vegetables, Manish Bandlish, stated, “Introducing Meghalaya’s pineapples into our product range showcases the region’s rich agricultural diversity. We look forward to working closely with farmers, supported by the Government of Meghalaya, to offer more unique products from fruits to spices.”

The Meghalaya Agriculture Marketing Board and the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare will continue to prioritize pineapple market linkage efforts, aiming to make Meghalaya synonymous with high-quality agri-produce and double the income of the state’s farmers.

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