A wellspring of nutrients, Kashmir valley’s Mishri variety of cherries saw its first commercial shipment reach Dubai from Srinagar. It is a definite step towards boosting India’s horticultural exports.
A sample consignment was sent in the middle of June from Srinagar to Dubai through the air which was transhipped from Mumbai. Following an encouraging response from the consumers in Dubai, the first commercial shipment of Mishri cherries was exported to Dubai.
This variety of cherries not only delicious in taste but also contain vitamins, minerals and plant compounds with many health benefits.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir produces more than 95 percent of the country’s total production of commercial varieties of cherries.
This includes four varieties of cherry — Double, Makhmali, Mishri, and Italy.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been closely associated with the export of cherries. The organisation helped with the harvesting, cleaning and packing of the cherries through an APEDA registered exporter. The technical inputs were, however, provided by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology of Kashmir.
Further, APEDA-National Referral Laboratory at National Research Centre for Grapes, Pune has been roped in to providing support for ensuring food safety and quality in the shipment, which would help create a brand for cherries especially in the Middle East countries.
“The commencement of commercial shipment of cherries will provide huge opportunities for exports of several temperate fruits like plums, pears, apricot and apples from Kashmir to especially to Middle East countries in the forthcoming seasons,” said the commerce and industry ministry in a statement.
Flagging off the first consignment to Dubai virtually, Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary said that this is a big step forward and now various measures are being initiated to boost the agriculture and horticulture sectors of the state.
The horticulture department for instance has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Go Airlines for shipment of agriculture and horticulture perishable fruits through air cargo at very competitive rates. And exporters can take optimum benefit of this arrangement as it involves not only the air cargo facility to the domestic market but also to the Gulf countries.
Meanwhile, APEDA has been holding interactions with farmers, farmer producer organizations (FPOs), government officials and other stakeholders for boosting the exports potential of agricultural produce from Kashmir such as apples, almonds, walnuts, saffron, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, and certified organic products.