In a first of its kind initiative for boosting the export potential of Indias agricultural and processed food products during the Covid-19 pandemic, APEDA organised its first Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) from March 10 to March 12, 2021.
The fair, with the theme India Rice and Agro Commodity, focused on showcasing the export potential of various agricultural commodities. Importers and exporters were the key participants, with potential buyers/importers and visitors getting to explore a wide range of food products presented by the exporters through this virtual fair.
The main products displayed through the VTF included basmati rice, non-basmati rice, millets, wheat, maize, groundnut and coarse grains. About 135 exhibitors registered, besides 266 Indian and international buyers from the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, New Zealand, France, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Fiji, Philippines, Qatar, Sudan, Myanmar, Netherlands and Peru. The buyers were brought in with the support of Indian Embassies abroad and an aggressive campaign on social media.
Because of the Covid-19 related restrictions on physical travel and trade, APEDA has initiated the concept of VTF for sustaining Indias agricultural and processed food products exports and also for exploring new markets to expand the export footprint.
In the pre-Covid era, trade fairs and exhibitions were instrumental in promoting the export of agricultural foods by APEDA. The VTF saw trade facilitation taking place using interactive technology.
It facilitated importer-exporter meetings with no interruption, via audio as well as video sessions. The fair provided facility workshops, product launches, live streams and webinars for participants.
APEDA has been a pioneer in formulating IT initiatives in the past for making its process system online, implementing traceability, and adopting advanced technology, highlighted a release.