Assam to establish itself as a hub for agriculture exports

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The Assam government is all set to focus to tap Bangladesh, Bhutan and Mynamar (BBM) and ASEAN markets for its agricultural produce. It will get the state a major boost to exports of packaged tea over selling tea in bulk form from the gardens.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the state having six airports, the highest in the country, was trying to take advantage of the cross-border markets, which could make it an export hub of agricultural produce.

“The BBM and ASEAN together make an 80-crore people’s market. We have direct flights from Assam to Singapore, Thailand and Bangladesh,” said Sonowal at an Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) session. He also said that the state was in a bid to capture that market and was in the process of creating a suitable infrastructure that would enable exports of perishable agriculture products like vegetables.

In order to boost tea exports, the government was working out to make it directly from the gardens drawing in the entire value chain of tea into Assam and making wider usage of the e -market place.

It is possible to process and package tea in the tea gardens itself instead of selling bulk tea from the gardens. The processed and packaged tea can then be marketed through e -platforms for direct exports. Not only will this save a lot of intermediatory, it will also help garner better revenues.

Processing and packaging of various tea variety such as Green, Olong, Masala, White, Rose and others are presently done in Moran, Narayanpur, Addabari and Kendugiri tea estates of Assam and Mokaibari tea estate of Darjeeling. Such can be extended to many other tea estates.

Companies like Hindustan Uniliver and Emami  have set up units in Assam and are looking for export opportunities from the state. A logistics hub entailing an investment of Rs 1000 crore is being built on the banks of the Brahmaputra facilitating direct connectivity with the ports on the of Bay of Bengal coastline, the Chief Minister said.

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