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Guwahati: As Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport plans a massive expansion, authorities are optimistic that Assam’s bhut jalokia (king chilli) or pineapples from Nagaland or Meghalaya would reach consumers even in Singapore and Dubai.
Right now the airport is in efforts to expand infrastructure including a cargo terminal, to transport perishable cargo to the outside world. The Airport is proposing to establish air connectivity, getting traders of both sides aligned, creating infrastructure for packaging and branding.
Besides rice, tea and orchid, the region has several unique products that has appeal in the global market. Bhut Jalakia, pineapple, ginger, kazinemu, or other daily used vegetables are some of the agriculture products waiting to reach out to a global community whether in Dubai in the west or Singapore in the east.
An Airport source informed that the LGBIA is creating the infrastructure and joining hands with the Assam government to take the idea forward. “We are creating the cargo market that may bring economic prosperity to the grassroots level of citizens residing in this region.
The spokesperson from LGBIA Airports said that for this local youth need to be inspired for taking up farming of organic vegetables. “For this the state government will be required to tie up with foreign government for the agricultural products of the state,” said the spokesperson.
The future is bright looking at the current performance of the domestic cargo terminal that handled inbound and outbound cargo of 1000 tonnes in the last three months alone. The cargo included 146 tons in June, 411 tons in July and 426 tons in August this year.
The terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like - handling of general and valuable cargo facility, DGR handling, temperature-sensitive cargo handling infrastructure for perishables, life-saving drugs, human remains, postal mails, courier, and other commodities from Assam and the northeast to various parts of the country.
The cargo terminal is currently just 550 sq metres in area and a new plan is being discussed to build an international cargo terminal building in the near future, although there are no timelines decided yet.
Northeast’s agro sector is waiting for market linkages, cargo transport facilities and at the grassroots, for capacity building to take forward the plan. Sikkim is a case in point as it has gone totally organic.
In rest of the Northeast, there are a range of natural products especially that are priceless for the pharma industry and for organic-obsessed consumers in the developed east and west.