An Initiative of APEDA –for Connecting Agri-Export through Direct Flights from Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi

New Delhi: A shipment of vegetables having green peas and RamnagarBhanta(Round Green Brinjal) was flagged off today to Sharjah by AirIndia Express.

This consignment was flagged off at Lal Bahadur Shastri International airport, Varanasi. The shipment was flagged-off by Chairman APEDA and senior officials of the Central and State Govt. This consignment contained approx. 1000 KG of cargo including vegetables such as Green Pea, and RamnagarBhanta.

After ice-breaking for direct exports from Varanasi Airport, the stage is set for more exports of Agri-products including GI products from the Varanasi region and nearby areas through Varanasi airport.

As stated by Hon’ble Prime Minister recently, to promote the GI (geographical indication) products and production our indigenous product “Local to Global”. Chairman APEDA Dr. M. Angamuthuvisited farms of RamnagarBhanta(Round Green Brinjal), which is one of the unique products and is in process of GI certification and identified for promotion in the international market.

Eastern UP is a landlocked area, and the nearest sea ports are over a thousand of kilometres away. In such scenario, an option of export through airport is nothing less than a blessing for the Farmer Producer Organization (FPOs) and exporters in this region.

The airport at Varanasi was not having facilities for making direct export, due to which the exporters were bound to route their exports either through Lucknow or Delhi. This was a deterrent for promoting export due to additional cost of transportation and time to be taken in local transportation and possibilities of spoiling the produce due to handling. Specifically, in the present COVID-19 situation, the movements were getting restricted, and FPOs were in big distress to sell their produce.

With concerted efforts of all the concerned agencies, now Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi has a full-scale functional window for all clearances needed for Agri-Export. Some of the notable facilities available at this airport that are as below:

Cold room facility for perishable agricultural produce.
Custom clearance has been invited at the airport for speedy custom clearance.
Clearing agents (custom agents)
Facilities related to custom clearance, AD code registrations for traders/exporters
Phyto-sanitary Clearance through the plant quarantine department.
All major airlines – Air India Express, Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo have been encouraged to set up BG bond &trans-shipment clearance of international cargo at Varanasi airport.
In continuation to a number of measures taken by APEDA, the process of grounding the project “Varanasi an Agri-Export Hub” has started yielding results and making efforts to fulfil the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister to double the farmers’ income as well as increasing the export.

During the pandemic, APEDA made all efforts to facilitate the farmers for supplying their produce for exports. It resulted into sending of number of export shipments from Varanasi Region through Lucknow and Delhi successfully.

Exporters, FPO’s from this region have started getting a good response from exporters for sourcing the produce as well as domestic market like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi etc. Some of the achievements towards the efforts made are:

Varanasi based mangoes and vegetables were linked to London, Dubai market.
Ghazipur based green vegetables were linked to London, Dubai market.
Chandauli based regional rice was linked to Qatar.
Quite a few trade bodies of Varanasi region have also been registered as an exporter.APEDA (Ministry of Commerce and Industries), is working very closely with all the stakeholder with the objective to coordinate the all of the stakeholders related to export and promote Indian Agri produce to international market.