New Delhi: The Ministry of Commerce & Industry announced yesterday that the first consignment of Nagpur oranges was flagged off to Dubai on 13 February from Vashi, Navi Mumbai. A total of 1,500 crates were loaded in the refrigerated container from Vanguard Health Care (VHT) facility.
The Ministry’s statement said that production of the Nagpur mandarin fruit crop in central and western part of India is increasing every year. Mrig crop (monsoon blossom), which matures from February to March, has great potential for export since arrivals of mandarin fruit in international market are lesser during this period.
According to the Maharashtra State Agriculture Department, 40 lakh hectares of land is under orange cultivation in Nagpur District and major orange growing pockets are Warud, Katol, Saoner, Kalameshwar, and Narkhed in Nagpur and Amravati districts. In the whole region, only one variety of Nagpur mandarin is grown.
For the implementation of the Agriculture Export Policy (AEP), Nagpur District is being developed as a cluster for Nagpur Orange by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The APEDA officer in Mumbai has been nominated as a nodal officer for implementation of the AEP and cluster development of Nagpur oranges.
The first meeting was held on 30 October 2019 under the chairmanship of the District Collector, Nagpur. After the meeting, a cluster development committee of stakeholders was constituted consisting of APEDA; National Research Centre for Citrus (NRC), Nagpur; Agri Department of Nagpur District; VANAMATI Nagpur; Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB); Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Nagpur; MSME, Plant Quarantine Nagpur; and MAHA Orange.
Subsequently a buyer-seller meet-cum-training programme on Nagpur orange cluster was held on 5 December 2019 at VANAMATI, Nagpur. Around 150 farmers from Nagpur district, farmer producers companies, and 7 exporters attended the training programme. Technical sessions and interactions between farmers and exporters were conducted in the training programme. The main focus of the training programme was to increase the exports of Nagpur orange in Middle Eastern countries and to brand Nagpur orange in the Middle East. The importance of labelling each fruit and crates of Nagpur orange while exporting was also explained to all exporters.
A field visit was organised on 6 December 2019 with APEDA, MCDC, State Agriculture Department and exporters to orange growing area at Warud, Katol, Kalameshwar of Nagpur and Amravati districts. After the field visit, exporters showed an interest in exporting Nagpur oranges. The interested exporters visited the same orange growing pockets again in the month of January 2020.
One of the exporters procured oranges directly from the farmers of Warud Taluka and brought them to an APEDA funded VHT Facility at Vashi, Navi Mumbai. At the VHT pack house, the oranges were graded and sorted. New plastic crates were designed and developed by the exporter to carry 10 kgs per crate.
The International Trade in 2018 for oranges was $10,183 million. India produced 8,781 thousand tons of orange in 2018-19 (orange includes mandarin, clementine).