APEDA, in collaboration with South Asia Biotechnology Centre and DBT-SABC Biotech Kisan Hub, Department of Biotechnology, ICAR-DMAPR, Department of Agriculture and RSAMB, Government of Rajasthan, hosted a digital seminar on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Processing and Value Addition of Isabgol (Psyllium) for boosting the supply chain of exporters of Isabgol products from Rajasthan.

Dr Angamuthu, chairman of APEDA in his inaugural speech declared that Isabgol (Psyllium) is a quirky product having a number of health benefits. It is highly in demand in the developed countries such as the USA, Europe, Australia and China. He underscored the development of production and export of the Psyllium products.  Dr Om Prakash, Commissioner of Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Rajasthan informed that Isabgol is a sensitive crop and gets spoiled in dew or rain during harvesting period. There is a necessity to develop variants of Isabgol that is resistant to adverse climatic condition and offers high yield such that the Industry can have access to more processed products.

A comprehensive presentation was prepared by APEDA and RSAMB about its activities and typifying the global trade, domestic production and share of Rajasthan in production of Isabgol, financial help schemes for progress of Agro processing industries and export in Rajasthan.

Others who talked about various perspectives in the e-seminar include- Dr Satyajit Roy, director of 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 at ICAR-DMAPR; Sh Bhagirath Choudhary, DBT-SABC Biotech Kisan Hub, South Asia Biotechnology Centre, Jodhpur and Board Member, APEDA; Jaideep Srivastava, Chief General Manager of NABARD, Jaipur.

Some of the significant issues addressed at the event include- Need of organising capacity building programmes for farmers and FPOs in Rajasthan for seed production and management of Isabgol, good agronomic practices to be adopted by farmers; Isabgol is a sensitive crop and gets injured in dew or rain during harvesting period. There is a necessity to develop such variants of Isabgol which are sustainable in adverse weather condition with high yield productivity so that Industry can get more processed products; Fine-quality seed production, variety development for improved yield and technical expertise for farmers for safeguarding crops from disease; Necessity for variety development, seed treatment, and crop preservation from weed, fungicide and pesticide via seed replacement; Incrementing production using intercropping, necessity of GAP for fair utilization of pesticide to be in line with international standard; Requirement for encouragement of FPO based aggregation in compliance with the goal set by The Govt. of India for instituting 10,000 FPOs in the country; Requirement of FPOs in value addition of Isabgol, hand holding, linking with market and technical association;
Joining forces with youth in establishment of food processing units, organic production and export; Adopting approaches that leads to surge in the call for Isabgol products and their value addition.

Over 70 participants from several Central / States government departments, DBT-SABC, NABARD, SFAC, Isabgol processors association, industries and exporters attended the webinar.

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