Henceforth, Bhutan will be able to import mangoes from India without requirement of plant quarantine, and trade will be facilitated without any hurdle as agreed by the both government during the virtual buyer-seller meet between Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA) and Bhutanese government on 7 January.
The virtual buyer-seller meet between APEDA and Bhutan was conducted to promote bilateral trade, of agricultural and processed food products, which has resulted in various outcomes for expanding cooperation with regard to capacity building, upgrading infrastructure, and certification of organic products.
Under the ambit of India@75 ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, the Embassy and the APEDA organized a virtual buyer-seller meet on 28 July between the Uttar Pradesh State Horticultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (HOFED) and Bhutanese importers in order to promote the export of Indian mangoes to Bhutan, with particular focus on UP.
Speaking at the event, Indian Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said, “Indian mangoes are extremely popular in Bhutan and there is even greater scope for promoting this agri-product in the Bhutanese market. India is committed to ensuring full support to Bhutan on agri-trade matters during Covid times.”
A press release from the Indian Embassy also stated that the meeting provided an opportunity for Bhutanese importers to have greater exposure on the production and export of mangoes from India and also helped the Indian side gain a better understanding about the requirements of the market in Bhutan.
In the last two years, Bhutan’s import of mangoes from India increased by over 80 percent from 442-MT worth to Nu 20 million in 2019 to 806-MT accounting to Nu 50 million in 2020.
During a trade exhibition on 29 July at the India House Estate, where Bhutanese government officials and importers sampled fresh Indian mangoes, which have been supplied by the HOFED, the Indian Ambassador said that India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes and accounts for about 50 percent of the total global production. Mango is the national fruit of India and Uttar Pradesh is the top mango producing state.
Further, the Ambassador also added that mangoes are excellent source of Vitamin A and C as well as good source of potassium and beta carotene. “Mangoes are high in fiber, but low in calories”
An official from the Indian Embassy said that Bhutan will be able to import mangoes from India throughout the year as different states of India have different mango harvest seasons.
Meanwhile, APEDA has been mandated to promote Indian exports of agricultural and processed food products including fresh fruits and vegetables, animal products, rice, and organic products. APEDA has been undertaking several initiatives to promote the export of Indian mangoes to various countries including Germany, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Republic of Korea, Russia, UAE, Uzbekistan, etc.
The event was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture & Forests, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Food Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. and several Bhutanese importers and members of the business community.
While from the Indian side, the participants included representatives from the Indian Embassy led by Indian Ambassador, representatives from APEDA – Chairman Dr M. Angamuthu, Director Dr Tarun Bajaj, and Secretary Dr Sudhanshu – senior officials from the Horticulture and Food Processing Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh – M.V.S. Rami Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary and Dr R.K. Tomar, Director – Anjani Kumar Srivastava, Managing Director of HOFED and representatives of various Indian export associations.