New Delhi: In a move that could boost Ladakh’s agricultural and food exports, the first commercial shipment of apricots from the Union Territory (UT) region of Ladakh has been exported to Dubai.
The apricot shipment was transhipped from Leh, Ladakh to Mumbai before being exported to Dubai. APEDA has worked to establish an export value chain for Ladakh apricot in association with a group of importers based in Dubai. The shipment was exported by registered exporter APEDA from Mumbai.
Ladakh apricots have a unique soothing taste and texture with a high content of sugar and total soluble solids. The Ladakh TU produces several varieties of apricots of which four to five varieties are used for cash cultivation and export opportunities exist for these varieties.
Prior to this shipment to Dubai, few shipments of fresh apricot samples were sent during August from Leh to Dubai by air.
APEDA is currently assisting exports in building the Ladakh apricot brand. Fruits for shipment were harvested, cleaned and packed by local entrepreneurs who received technical assistance from APEDA on export value chain requirements.
This export of apricots from Ladakh opens up the potential for shipments of other temperate fruits and organic products from the region to countries in the Middle East.
There have been repeat orders for the shipment of apricots from Ladakh to various other destinations in Middle East countries like Oman and Qatar.
To boost exports of agricultural products from Ladakh, which would increase the incomes of farmers and entrepreneurs, APEDA, in association with the heads of the departments of horticulture, agriculture, trade and industry in the Union territory and the High Altitude Research Defense Institute, is developing a comprehensive action plan.
Following a series of interactions held recently in Ladakh, areas of work identified include improving the production of fruits with medicinal value, including sea buckthorn, apricot and organic products and the introduction of the traceability system. , capacity building of farmers and the added value of products.
Technical assistance for capacity building of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, government officials, farmers, branding and marketing of Ladakhi products and to make Ladakh an “organic” region is underway. APEDA would provide special assistance in branding and promoting Ladakhi products, especially sea buckthorn which is rich in vitamin C, omega and other essential nutrients.
In its promotion program, APEDA mentioned that this is only the beginning of exports of products from Ladakh; it will explore more and more UT products from Ladakh to the overseas market to boost the region’s exports in the coming days. This initiative will result in better realization of Ladakh products.
Although the Ladakh apricot season comes to an end in the next fifteen weeks, shipments from the higher elevation areas of Ladakh are confident of a steady supply of fresh Ladakh apricots to all markets destinations in the Middle East.
The UT secretary of agriculture of Ladakh and the secretary of trade and industry of the UT of Ladakh reported that the UT produces about 15,789 tons of apricots, of which four to five varieties are suitable. for export. UT would be able to improve production as well as the introduction of new commercial varieties to improve Ladakh’s exports.