First trial shipment of fresh vegetables sourced from Varanasi region was flagged off from Mumbai to Dubai via sea route on Friday.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) -- as part of its efforts to promote exports from India's agriculture produce rich regions -- had sent the first trial shipment of vegetables by sea route from Varanasi to Dubai, Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
Considering the potential of production of fruits and vegetables in Varanasi region comprising of 5 districts -- Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Chandauli, Mirzapur and SantRavidas Nagar -- APEDA is in the process of setting up Agri export hubs in these districts, it added.
"The first trial shipment of one container of fresh vegetables was flagged off by Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chairman APEDA and Deepak Agrawal, Commissioner, Varanasi Region in the presence of Kaushal Raj Sharma, District Magistrate, Varanasi today," it said.
In its efforts to set up of agri-export hub, APEDA organised an export promotion programme and buyer seller meet (BSM) for fresh vegetables this year in Varanasi, which was attended by 100 farmers of the region and exporters from Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh.
Vegetables and fruits exporters association (VAFA), Mumbai have signed an MoU with four farmers producers organisations (FPOs) for sourcing of fresh vegetables and fruits for export to international markets.
FPOs have been engaged to ensure supply of quality produce from the region, the release said.
The initiative of setting up the agri-export hub in Varanasi is "now yielding results" with the sending of the first trial shipment of vegetables sourced from FPOs in Varanasi region to Dubai by sea route for the first time, it added.
The container has the quantity of 14 tonnes of fresh vegetables exported by an export house from Mumbai, supported by VAFA and sourced from three FPOs of Ghazipur and Varanasi.
The release further said that to fast-track the activities taken up for the export hub at Varanasi, a project office of APEDA is being set up there soon for co-ordination and facilitation of all activities.