GUWAHATI, April 30 - The State government is working on a war-footing to check the loss suffered by the horticulture and food processing sector by using its experience of other disasters like flood, and it has been able to control the situation to a large extent.
Deputy Director of Horticulture and Food Processing Khagen Sharma said this here today while taking part in a webinar organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce on the topic �The impact of coronavirus outbreak on agriculture and allied sectors of the North East and its revival strategy.�
Sharma informed that amid the lockdown, the State has exported fruits and vegetables to various states like Bihar, Manipur, West Bengal, etc, and each district administration has allowed a certain number of vehicles to sell the commodities.
�By doing so, a new business model has emerged where there is no middleman, and farmers are selling directly to customers through government-approved vendors by maintaining social distancing,� he said.
Chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Paban Kumar Borthakur said despite the global economic slowdown, the agriculture and food processing sector still has a lucrative market. He said despite the lockdown, around 60 per cent of agri-exports are still going on.
Prabhat Bezbaruah, chairman of the Tea Board of India, said the tea industry is facing a tremendous problem of logistics, as they have limited scope for transporting the products to consumers.
Deputy General Manager of APEDA Dr Saswati Bose said there would be a paradigm shift in the way goods are exported in the new world order. Most of the biggest horticulture-producing countries like Spain, Mexico and the Netherlands have been affected greatly due to coronavirus and it could be a very good opportunity for the NE exporters to gain their share in the world.