Varanasi to become hub for fruit and vegetable exports

Updated: Oct 08, 2019, 13:08 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Two-phase plan will focus on training farmers to grow quality vegetables and fruits that meet global standards and also enhance infrastructure facilities to increase export of goods

Officers at the meeting held in the Commissionerate Auditorium. Pic: inext
Officers at the meeting held in the Commissionerate Auditorium. Pic: inext

The government aims to make Varanasi, also known as Benaras or Kashi, a fruit and vegetable export hub. Major production of fruits and vegetables grown in the region and adjoining districts will be branded as 'Benaras Brand' and 'Kashi Brand,' respectively and marketed and exported to the world market, and step towards making the country achieve the USD 5 trillion economy.

Fruits and vegetables produced in Varanasi and adjoining districts are preferred in the global markets, which is why the Centre has planned to make Varanasi a hub for exporting fruits and vegetables. According to Pawan Kumar Barthakur, Chairman, Export Development Authority, the exercise has started and he added that in 2018-19, fruit-vegetable exports from Uttar Pradesh amounted to Rs 277.98 crore out of which Varanasi and surrounding areas accounted for 40 per cent of the amount.

Plan ready for export
During a meeting here on Thursday, in the presence of Pawan Kumar Barthakur in the Commissionerate Auditorium, a primary plan was discussed with regards to making Varanasi the hub fruits and vegetable export hub. In the plan, farmers will be encouraged to grow quality fruits and vegetables by imparting training to them for production of fruit and vegetable that meet global standards. Limited pesticides will be produced in conformity with Singapore and European countries along with the Gulf countries. Each district will have a packhouse, which will have grading, shorting, packaging and testing. After testing and the packing process, the fruits and vegetables will be exported.

Work will be done in two phases
Chairman Pawan Kumar Barthakur said that initially Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has prepared a 2-phase action plan for infrastructure. Export of fruits and vegetables to developed countries will be a priority and in order to get a good price and also increase the demand for Varanasi products in the world market, fruits and vegetables will be branded as 'Kashi Brand' and 'Benaras Brand'.

Infrastructure in Varanasi
Commissioner Deepak Aggarwal said that the infrastructure has grown rapidly in four-five years in Varanasi which will help in expansion of exports of fruits and vegetables. The export of fruit and vegetable will play an important role in doubling the income of the farmer and increasing the economy to 5 trillion, he added.

Agro-Processing Park near Airport
District Magistrate Surendra Singh said that Varanasi is very fertile and conducive for the growth of vegetables and fruits. An Agro-Processing Park will be developed near the airport.

Presentation via Power Play
The meeting that lasted for about 4 hours in the Commissionerate, was attended by Keshav Chandra, Director of UP Mandi Committee, Bharti Vegetable Research Center Varanasi, SpiceJet, Railways, Horticulture Department, Exporters from NABARD including Mumbai, Bihar and local farmers.

Sightseeing
Chairman of the Export Development Authority Pawan Kumar Barthakur also visited the hill cargo market, inland waterway port Ramnagar, perishable cargo centre Rajatlab, Indian vegetable research institute Shahshanpur and airport cargo facility centre Babatpur with nearby Shak-Bhaji area.

This story has been sourced from Inext Live.

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