NEW DELHI, 23 July 2021: To give a boost to exports of agricultural produce from Ladakh, which would enhance farmers’ as well as entrepreneurs’ income, The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in association with officials of the horticulture, agriculture, commerce, and industry departments of Union Territory and Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research (DIHAR) are working out a comprehensive plan of actions.
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.
APEDA would provide technical assistance for building the capacity of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, officials, farmers, branding and marketing of Ladakhi products, and making Ladakh an ‘organic’ region. 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.
Emphasizing the need for minimal or zero use of chemicals in farming, during the interactions with Ladakh officials, APEDA has urged non-use of chemicals and fertilizers at the earliest and introduction of traceability systems to help in branding Ladakhi products. The focus of this collaboration is to ensure that Ladakh achieves the goal of becoming an organic region by 2025.
Officials of Ladakh under the Mission Organic Development Initiative have formed an organic study group, drafting ‘organic’ certification documents and implementation of the certification process in phases. The technological interventions introduced by DIHAR to Ladakh administration are helping farmers grow leafy vegetables at -25 degrees.
APEDA would be continuously working with officials from agriculture and horticulture departments of Lek & Ladakh districts, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Jammu, DIHAR, and entrepreneurs for comprehensive development of agriculture in Ladakh.