In a move to promote export of agricultural products from the north-eastern region, the second conference cum international Buyer-Seller meet began in Manipur capital Imphal on Wednesday.
The two-day conference is organized by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in association with North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation (NERMAC) after successfully holding the fistst international buyer-seller meet in Guwahati on March 5 earlier this year.
Secretary of Union Ministry of Commerce Dr Anup Wadhawan; chairman of APEDA Paban Kumar Borthakur; principal secretary of Horticulture and Soil Conservation of Manipur J C Ramthanga; Mmanaging director of NERMAC Pankaj Prasad, besides dignitaries, delegates from abroad, and different parts of the country and the state are attending the meet.
In his inaugural speech, commerce secretary Dr Anup Wadhawan said that the north-eastern region has huge potential that can be capitalized considering its agricultural and horticultural produce, strategic location with neighbouring South East Asian countries that can offer big opportunities for trade and economic activity.
Government of India is always ready to support the efforts of the State Government and to work together through several windows available to promote exports, he said.
The first and foremost entry point is the export strategy through which we need to fill the gaps in infrastructure and logistics and regulatory requirements, he further added.
In his welcome address, chairman APEDA Borthakur stated that India’s total agricultural product exports is valued at 38 billion US dollar for the financial year 2017-18, out of which 50 per cent is contributed through APEDA’s products.
Though the Northeast is endowed with a conducive environment for production of various fruits and vegetables, he expressed that the export rate is, however, below its true potential.
On the other hand, principal secretary Ramthanga stated that agriculture and horticulture are the most significant sources of income for the people of the State.
The meet which is being participated by 20 international buyers from South East Asia, Gulf countries and neighbouring countries, is expected to provide a platform for meetings with international buyers with the exporters and with the progressive farmers and growers to explore the opportunities and prospects of exports from the north-eastern region more particularly from Manipur.
The international buyer seller meet which is a part of the initiative to bring the north-eastern India high on the export map of the country, will conclude by organizing a field trip to Bunglon pineapple field in Churachandpur district and Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Northeast and Keibul Lamjao, the only floating national park in the world on Thursday.