The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), in association with South Asia Biotechnology Centre and DBT-SABC Biotech Kisan Hub, Department of Biotechnology, ICAR-DMAPR, Department of Agriculture and Rajasthan State Agricultural Marketing Board (RSAMB), Government of Rajasthan organised a 'Webinar on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Processing and Value Addition of Isabgol (Psyllium)' for strengthening the supply chain of exporters of Isabgol products from Rajasthan.
Dr Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, in his inaugural address stated that Isabgol (Psyllium) is a unique product having multiple health benefit. It is very much in demand in the developed countries like the USA, Europe, Australia and China. He emphasized on development of production and export of the Psyllium products. Dr Om Prakash, Commissioner of Agriculture and Horticulture, Govt of Rajasthan expressed that Isabgol is a sensitive crop and gets damaged in dew or rain during harvesting period. There is a need to develop varieties of Isabgol sustainable in adverse weather condition with high yield productivity so that the Industry can get more processed products.
A detailed presentation was made by APEDA and RSAMB on its activities and showing the international trade, domestic production and share of Rajasthan in production of Isabgol, Financial assistance schemes for development of Agro-processing industries and export in Rajasthan.
The program was further addressed by Dr. Satyajit Roy, Director, ICAR-Directorate of Medicinal Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR), Anand, Gujarat, Dr CD Mayee, President South Asia Biotechnology Center and DBT-SABC Biotech Kisan Hub for Western Dry Region, Dr. R. Nagaraja Reddy, Scientist, ICAR-DMAPR,Sh Bhagirath Choudhary, DBT-SABC Biotech Kisan Hub, South Asia Biotechnology Centre, Jodhpur & Board Member, APEDA, Shri Jaideep Srivastava, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Jaipur.
The major issues emerged during the Webinar are:
- Requirement of organizing capacity building programs for farmers and FPOs in Rajasthan for seed production and management of Isabgol, good agronomic practices to be followed by farmers.
- Isabgol is a sensitive crop and gets damaged in dew or rain during harvesting period. There is a need to develop varieties of isabgol sustainable in adverse weather condition with high yield productivity so that Industry can get more processed products.
- Quality seed production, variety development for better yield and technical knowhow for farmers for protection of crops from disease.
- Need for variety development, seed treatment, and crop protection from weed, fungicide and pesticide through seed replacement.
- Increasing production through intercropping, GAP requirement for judicial usage of pesticide to meet international standard.
- Need for promotion of FPO based aggregation in line with target set by Govt. of India for setting up of 10,000 FPOs in India.
- Need of FPOs in value addition of Isabgol, hand holding, connecting with market and technical collaboration.
- Bringing youth in setting up of food processing units, organic production and export.
- Strategy for increasing demand of Isabgol products and their value addition.
More than 70 participants from various Central/state govt departments, DBT-SABC, NABARD, SFAC, Isabgol processors association, industries and exporters took part in the webinar.