National Agricultural Export Authority, APEDA launched 186 product testing laboratories

On January 20, 2020, the APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority) has added 135 laboratories to the existing 51 laboratories. With this initiative, the total number of agricultural product testing laboratories in the country has increased to 186.

Highlights

The new laboratories are being installed in states with high agricultural potential such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka. In order to strengthen the network, a new policy has been adopted by APEDA. According to the policy, NABL (National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration Laboratories) accredited laboratories are to be added to the APEDA network.

NABL

The NABL provides the procedure for integrated assessment and requirements for testing laboratories set up in the country. It works under Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Both NABL and DPIIT operate under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Agricultural sector in India

Agricultural sector today employs more than 60% of the population. However, it accounts to only 17% of India’s GDP, which is 2.6 trillion USD. India has achieved self sufficiency in food grain production. India is one of the highest-ranking countries in terms of rice, dairy, cotton, fruits, meat, vegetables and seafood. However, due to lack of storage infrastructure, 40% of the produce are lost. The losses alone account to 13 billion USD annually. The export capacity of India can be increased if these losses are minimized.

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