For boosting exports of citrus and its value-added products, the 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 creating product-specific clusters and developing technologies by APEDA and ICAR-CCRI with a focus on efficient and precision farming.
The collaboration with two institutes of repute would focus on diversifying the export basket, destinations and boosting high-value agricultural products exports through establishing brand India globally. Market development and traceability in citrus include strengthening forward and backward linkages, branding and marketing, and establishing market intelligence cell, the MoU states.
The MoU states that product development work comprises of field digitization, efficient quality control measures (Sanitary and Phytosanitary), development of organic farms. APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also organize capacity building for farmers, entrepreneurs, exporters and other stakeholders to promote agri-businesses and exports.
MoU which was 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 Organizations and Farmer Producer Companies and linking them with international markets.
According to 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 to pursue collaborative activities that enhance the university's technology transfer and technical expertise and strengthen existing laboratory facilities for testing as per importing countries' requirement and to obtain 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 to develop value-added products of Oranges and other citrus fruits and carry out training & research consultancy," according to MoU.
APEDA and ICAR-CCRI would also develop Standard Operating Procedure for citrus fruits for exports, including pre and post-harvest management, residue control, post-harvest interval, shelf life development, and more.
Export-oriented extension activities at the farm level are to be carried out in association with the active FPOs or NGOs in the respective states and districts.
The MoU also aims to develop an end-to-end sustainable value chain with APEDA to promote better consignment commitment to importing countries and export promotion of Geographical Indication (GI) tagged Nagpur Orange and organic citrus products from Maharashtra. ICAR-CCRI would contribute to addressing the challenges in export like developing a real-time solution for pests and diseases (pest-free area for fruit fly, citrus canker, etc).
APEDA has signed a series of MoUs with ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore to boost value-addition and farmers' income, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and others.