Farmers eyeing export of 500 MT oranges to Gulf nations
   Date :27-Dec-2023

Farmers eyeing export  
Business Reporter
Nagpur oranges may soon consolidate its position in the Gulf nation as local farmers, exporters and Government agencies are working together to push the citrus fruit in the international markets. The agencies have also set an ambitious target of exporting more than 500 metric tonnes of oranges in countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the season starting from February 2024. As of now, the exporters are selling 100-200 metric tonnes of oranges per season to these countries. Dr Nagpal Lokhare, Deputy General Manager in Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), told The Hitavada on Tuesday that efforts are being put in to sensitise farmers, exporters and others to tap overseas markets. “We are conducting seminars for farmers and exporters and providing them all kind of possible support. We are also participating in exhibitions, especially in the Gulf countries to promote oranges,” he said highlighting the recently conducted exhibitions in Dubai and Riyadh.
Two exporters including Pravin Wankhade of Universe Exports and Saurabh N Yadav of New India Export, took part in the exhibitions. Grown under the golden sun of Vidarbha, Nagpur mandarins boast a unique thin skin, a delightful burst of flavour and a seedless bite. Renowned for their sweetness and juiciness, they’re a prized possession in international markets. In addition to this, APEDA has identified more than 15,000 farmers based in Nagpur and Amravati districts. “We are providing all kinds of assistance to grow export quality oranges,” Lokhare added. The authorities are creating awareness among the farmers and other stake holders on sorting, grading, and packing to ensure the oranges arrive fresh and tempting. Special refrigerated containers and improved logistics are essential to increase the shelf life of the fruit. It is important to note that India used to export 1,800 to 2,000 metric tonnes of oranges to Bangladesh.
However, after the Bangladesh Government hiked import duty on oranges from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, India’s export of the citrus fruit slipped to 200-300 metric tonnes per season. The duty hike made the oranges too costly for the Bangladeshi consumers. APEDA is developing Nagpur district as a cluster for Nagpur oranges as part of the Agriculture Export Policy. The APEDA officer in Mumbai has been nominated as a nodal officer for implementation of AEP and cluster development of Nagpur orange.