In a move that could boost agricultural and food products exports from Ladakh, the first commercial shipment of Apricot sourced from the region of Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh has been exported to Dubai.
The consignment of Apricot was transhipped from Leh, Ladakh to Mumbai prior to being exported to Dubai. APEDA has been working to establish an export value chain for Ladakh Apricot in association with an importer Group based in Dubai. The shipment was exported by APEDA registered exporter from Mumbai.
Ladakh Apricots – a treasure trove of taste and nutrition
Ladakh Apricots have a unique soothing taste and texture with high sugar contents and total soluble solids. UT of Ladakh produces several varieties of Apricots out of which four to five varieties are taken up for commercial cultivation and export opportunities exist for these varieties.
Prior to this shipment to Dubai, few sample shipments of fresh apricots were sent during the month of August from Leh to Dubai by air.
APEDA is currently assisting the exports in building the brand of Ladakh Apricots. The fruit for the shipment was harvested, cleaned, and packed by local entrepreneurs who were provided technical assistance by APEDA on the requirements of the export value chain.
This export of Ladakh Apricots opens up the potential of shipments of other temperate fruits and organic products from the region to Middle-east countries.
There have been repeated orders for shipment of Ladakh Apricots to various other destinations of Middle Eastern countries such as Oman and Qatar.
APEDA’s upcoming plan of action
For giving a boost to exports of agricultural produce from Ladakh, which would enhance farmers’ as well as entrepreneurs’ income, APEDA in association with officials of the horticulture, agriculture, commerce, and industry departments of Union Territory and Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research, are working out a comprehensive plan of action.
Capacity building initiatives
Following a series of interactions held recently at Ladakh, identified areas of work include enhancement of production of fruits with medicinal values including sea buckthorn, apricot, and organic produce and introduction of the traceability system, capacity-building of farmers, and value addition of products.
Technical assistance for building the capacity of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, officials, farmers, branding, and marketing of Ladakhi products and making Ladakh an ‘organic’ region is in process. APEDA would provide special assistance for branding and promotion of 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 just the beginning of exports of Ladakh products; it will explore more and more products from UT of Ladakh to the overseas market for boosting exports from the region in the coming days. This initiative will result in generating better realization to the Ladakh products.
Although the Ladakh Apricot season is going to be over during the next fortnight, shipments from higher altitude areas of Ladakh are being persuaded for a consistent supply of fresh Ladakh Apricots to all destinations in Middle Eastern markets.
Secretary Agriculture, UT of Ladakh, and Secretary Commerce & Industry, UT of Ladakh mentioned that the UT produces approximately 15,789 MT of Apricots out of which four to five varieties are fit for exports. The UT would be able to enhance production as well as the introduction of new commercial varieties for enhancing exports from Ladakh.