Assam farmers make a mark in the UK market with flat beans and lemons

Assam farmers make a mark in the UK market with flat beans and lemons
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A group of 16 farmers from Sivsagar district and several farmers from Tinsukia district have successfully exported 500 kg of flat beans (urahi) and 5,000 lemons (kaji nemu) to the UK. The lablab beans came from farmers of Dihingparia Farmer Producer Company (FPC) in Nitaipukhuri, Sivasagar district, while special quality lemons were produced in Tinsukia district.

The shipment of flat beans and lemons was sent to the New Spitalfields market in London, a major hub for fresh produce in Europe. The market is known for its discerning clientele, who demand the highest quality fruits and vegetables.

Lablab beans or flat beans, often overlooked due to a local superstition that entering the gardens where these nutritionally rich beans grow could lead to fainting, have emerged as a resilient and profitable alternative for farmers. Previously, lablab bean cultivation was limited to few farmers, primarily for household consumption.

Frustrated by the damage caused to mustard, leafy vegetables, and other vegetables by marauding monkeys, farmers in Sivasagar, Upper Assam recently shifted their focus to cultivating lablab or flat beans. The reason for the shift, as per the farmers, is due to monkeys showing no interest in damaging lablab beans, making them a viable and monkey-resistant crop.

Also, farmers from neighboring Tinsukia district dispatched 5,000 Assam lemons (kaji nemu) along with the lablab beans. Assam’s Agriculture Minister, Atul Bora, participated virtually in the ceremony to flag off the items bound for London.

The export initiative was spearheaded by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). Encouraged by this export, farmers are gearing up for expanded lablab cultivation on 100 bighas in the upcoming season.

In a post on the microblogging site, X, Minister Bora credited the success to the strong leadership of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for making it possible for Assam’s farmers to foray into international markets.

Minister Bora commended the Horticulture and Agriculture Departments of Sivasagar district, as well as FPC Chairman Mantu Saikia, while acknowledging the collective effort of all farmers in achieving this milestone.

The success of this export is expected to boost the morale of Assamese farmers and encourage them to adopt modern farming practices. It is also likely to lead to increased investment in the state’s agricultural infrastructure, which will benefit farmers in the long run.

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