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Fruits from Northeast will now reach Dubai, thanks to Delhi airport

Delhi’s IGI Airport received the first consignment of fruits from Agartala on Thursday. It was exported to Dubai the following morning as part of DIAL’s plan to take the produce from north-eastern states to international markets.

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2017 15:24 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,IGI Airport,Delhi airport
Fresh fruits such as orange, pineapple, kiwi and banana as well as chilli and cut flowers will be exported from north-eastern states to Dubai. (HT FILE)

Delhi airport has started a facility to export fresh fruits such as orange, pineapple, kiwi and banana as well as chilli and cut flowers from the north-eastern states to Dubai in an effort to help the locals take their produce to international markets and save it from getting wasted due to lack of transportation facility.

The first consignment was received at Delhi’s IGI Airport from Agartala, capital of Tripura, on Thursday, and exported to Dubai on Friday morning. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) in collaboration with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority plans to export items to Gulf countries and parts of Asia.

Currently, exports from Northeast are restricted to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. DIAL had initiated a study in 2016 to assess the potential of agricultural exports from northeast in other international markets.

“There is a big market and it will help people in Northeast as majority of the items they were producing were getting wasted. For instance, India currently produces about 9,000MT and imports 12,389MT of kiwi majorly from Italy, New Zealand, Iran, Chile, Greece, and France. Nearly 7,000MT of India’s production is from the region,” said a Delhi airport official, who didn’t wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The official said that nearly 70 per cent of the kiwi produced in Northeast is wasted annually due to lack of storage and packaging facilities. We will help it reach international destinations without getting wasted

DIAL has identified 10 items for export in 2017 and many other items to be supplied to markets abroad at a later stage. The items will be stored in a 1.5 million tonne facility at the cargo terminal of Delhi airport.

Hindustan Times has accessed the study report that talks about diversity of different crops and various kinds of fruits, different vegetables, spices, ornamental plants and also medicinal and aromatic plants.

An email query sent to DIAL remained unanswered till the filing of this report.

“It is majorly ginger and oranges/mandarins that are getting exported from Northeast. Pineapple is another important item. The average yield of pineapple in the region ranges between 20-22MT per hectare. During the peak season, due to unavailability of processing units and lack of market access, pineapples in the region face issues of glut. Also due to lack of storage spaces, a large percentage of the fruit matures in the field itself and gets wasted,” the official added.

Airport official said that this air cargo facility would open a huge potential market for northeastern agricultural products.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 15:24 IST