Madurai

Become exporters, FPOs told

APEDA Chairman M. Angamuthu inspects a stall at an expo in Madurai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

Madurai

The Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) should be turned into direct exporters through capacity building. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) should work with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and NABARD to set up an APEDA cell to train officials on export promotion, who will in turn train the FPOs, said APEDA Chairman M. Angamuthu here on Friday.

Inaugurating ‘TAN Food 21,’ a two-day agricultural expo held at Agricultural College and Research Institute here, organised by Madurai Agri Business Incubation Forum (MABIF) and POTAN Super Foods Producer Company Limited, he said APEDA intends to provide technical support to identify the produce of farmers. If laboratory testing, packaging and marketing is done properly, farmers will earn premium returns.

A few interventions are necessary. There is a need to set up a Centre for Perishable Cargo at Madurai airport and AEPDA will work towards achieving this. APEDA will work towards identifying issues and fulfil gaps in transporting rice through rail services. "We will develop a sea protocol for transporting a list of selected horticultural produce," he added.

APEDA will take it up to the Ministry to declare a Moringa Special Export Zone in Tamil Nadu. Steps will be taken to ease the process of obtaining certification for organic produce. APEDA will work towards market promotion of products with Geographical Indication (GI) tag by organising regular buyer-seller meets. Madurai has been an important hub for agri business. Sustainable efforts are important to earn great returns from agri business.

TNAU Vice-Chancellor N. Kumar said there was an increase in interest among the public in using traditional products. Similarly, the farmers are more interested in cultivating traditional paddy varieties. The process of obtaining organic certification must be eased. The thrust on FPOs has been increasing in the past 5-6 years. So, all departments must work together in promoting more FPOs.

Baiju N. Kurup, General Manager, NABARD, Tamil Nadu, said that TNAU is an important partner in executing various projects of NABARD. MABIF is one of the leading forums set up by NABARD. The focus of NABARD is to engage MABIF to ensure efficient working of FPOs.

M. Natchimuthu, Chairman of POTAN and AAVAARAM Group, said that moringa was one of superfoods of Tamil Nadu. The State contributed to a major share of production of moringa and a Moringa Special Export Zone must be declared in the State.

Tamil Nadu Agricultural College and Research Institute Dean V.K. Paulpandi delivered the welcome address.

Mr. Angamuthu also inaugurated an exhibition of agricultural and traditional food products. A total of 165 stalls consisting of farmers and FPOs were selling various food products. A buyer-seller meet and a meet to engage FPOs with the startups was organised as part of the expo.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 11:21:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/become-exporters-fpos-told/article33943617.ece

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