APEDA facilitates agri exports from Varanasi to Sharjah through direct flight

APEDA facilitates agri-exports from Varanasi to Sharjah through direct flight

In order to boost agri exports from eastern Uttar Pradesh, a shipment of vegetables having green peas and Ramnagar Bhanta (Round Green Brinjal) was flagged off today to Sharjah by AirIndia Express.

This consignment was flagged off at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi. The shipment was flagged-off by Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA),  and senior officials of the Central and state government. This consignment contained approx. 1000 kg of cargo including vegetables such as green pea, and Ramnagar Bhanta.

After ice-breaking for direct exports from Varanasi airport, the stage is set for more exports of agri-products including GI (geographical indication) products from the Varanasi region and nearby areas through Varanasi airport.

Dr. M Angamuthu visited farms of Ramnagar Bhanta which is one of the unique products and is in process of GI certification and identified for promotion in the international market.

Eastern Uttar Pradesh is a landlocked area, and the nearest sea ports are over a thousand of kilometres away. In such scenario, an option of export through airport is nothing less than a blessing for the farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and exporters in this region.

The airport at Varanasi was not having facilities for making direct export, due to which the exporters were bound to route their exports either through Lucknow or Delhi. This was a deterrent for promoting export due to additional cost of transportation and time to be taken in local transportation and possibilities of spoiling the produce due to handling. Specifically, in the present COVID-19 situation, the movements were getting restricted, and FPOs were in big distress to sell their produce.

With concerted efforts of all the concerned agencies, now Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi has a full-scale functional window for all clearances needed for agricultural exports. Some of the notable facilities available at this airport that are;

  • Cold room facility for perishable agricultural produce.
  • Custom clearance has been invited at the airport for speedy custom clearance.
  • Clearing agents (custom agents)
  • Facilities related to custom clearance, AD code registrations for traders and exporters
  • Phytosanitary clearance through the plant quarantine department.
  • All major airlines – Air India Express, Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo have been encouraged to set up BG bond and transshipment clearance of international cargo at the airport.

In continuation to a number of measures taken by APEDA, the process of grounding the project “Varanasi an Agri-Export Hub” has started yielding results.

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