In a step towards boosting the horticultural industry, India-based exporters have exported the first commercial shipment of 'Mishri' variety of cherries from Kashmir valley to Dubai.As per the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) assisted the shipment of cherries to Dubai."Prior to the shipment, the cherries were harvested, cleaned and packed by APEDA registered exporter while the technical inputs were provided by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology of Kashmir," the ministry said in a statement."APEDA-National Referral Laboratory at National Research Centre for Grapes, Pune provided support for ensuring food safety and quality in the shipment, which would help create a brand for cherries especially in the Middle East countries."According to the ministry, prior to the current shipment, a sample consignment was sent in June 2021 from Srinagar to Dubai by air which were transhipped from Mumbai."Following an encouraging response from the consumers in Dubai, the first commercial shipment of 'Mishri' variety of cherries was exported to Dubai."At present, the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir produces more than 95 per cent of the total production of commercial varieties of cherries in the country.It produces four varieties of cherry -- 'Double', 'Makhmali', 'Mishri' and 'Italy'."The commencement of commercial shipment of cherries would provide huge opportunities for exports of several temperate fruits like plums, pears, apricot and apples from Kashmir, especially to Middle East countries in the forthcoming seasons.""APEDA has been conducting interactions with farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), government officials and other stakeholders for boosting export potential of agricultural produce from Kashmir such as apples, almonds, walnuts, saffron, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables and certified organic products," the ministry said.