CEC Feroz Khan flags off 1st ever international export of Ladakhi apricots to Dubai
KARGIL, AUGUST 30, 2021: Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan along with the Deputy Commissioner and CEO, LAHDC, Kargil Santosh Sukhadeve flagged off of the first ever international export of Ladakhi apricot to Dubai.
In what can be termed a historic event apricot which is the primary cash crop for the farmers of Kargil was for the first time exported to a forgein country.
Krishak Agritech, a farmer centric organisation that is working with farmers across the Himalayan states undertook this mammoth task to find way to export and markets for fresh Ladakhi apricots.
Speaking on the occasion, CEC Feroz Ahmad Khan expressed happiness on the export of fresh local apricot outside Ladakh which was banned since 1986. He further stated that this event marks an important milestone for Kargil, as now Krishak Agritech has taken the fruit not only to Indian market but also to the international market, with their first order of 150 kg from Dubai.
The CEC further said that apart from paving way for local entrepreneurs to participate in the value chain of apricot, this initiative would also ensure that the farmers of Kargil benefit from reduced wastage and receive the real value of their crop, adding he also said that apricot has recently been identified as the primary crop for Kargil under ODOC programme of the Government of India.
CEC Kargil also thanked Krishak Agritech for this endeavour and assured all support to take this journey further and make this initiative a success.
DC Kargil Santosh Sukhadeve hailed the maiden efforts undertaken by Krishak Agritech through their innovative, sustainable and scalable intervention. He also appreciated that instead of coming up with a problem, Krishak Agritech came up with a solution by way of understanding the possibility of export of Ladakhi apricots in all its dimensions- technology deployment, establishing logistics connect and finding markets while also keeping a strong farmer connect. He further emphasised that exporting apricots is a strategic priority for Kargil and Ladakh to contribute to the economy of the UT in its full potential.
Speaking on the occasion, Founder Krishak Agritech Naveen Gahlawat informed that so far the organisation has exported 20 MT of fresh apricot worth Rs 30 lacs procured from more than 200 farmers of UT Ladakh, in addition to generating over 600 man-days of direct employment. He further informed that the fruit has reached Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Delhi/ NCR markets, adding he stated that while they continue to explore the domestic markets, the support from all the stakeholders involved has been their pillar of motivation.
Naveen Gahlavat also introduced the entrepreneurs from Kargil and local partners of Krishak Agritech Ghulam Mustafa, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan and Muhammad Javed who helped the organisation to successfully complete the novel task for this season.
Making mention of the feedback received from customers across the country, Naveen shared that today they have secured their first order to send out Ladakhi apricots to international market in Dubai. He stated that it comes with the help of the Department of Industries and Commerce, UT Ladakh through APEDA and expressed gratitude to one and all who have helped the organisation to bring this initiative to fruition.
As regards to Krishak Agritech’s commitment towards creating value for the farmers of Ladakh with future innovations and interventions, he informed that they have a plan to set up food processing unit before next apricot season.