The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday highlighted its plan to project Purvanchal as an “investment destination” for foreign companies planning to shift their base from China because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was announced on the second day of a three-day seminar on sustainable development of the region.
“The agriculture-rich Purvanchal region is known for its cheap labour. If we now concentrate on skill development of the labour force, then instead of choosing Vietnam or Thailand, the foreign companies will select Purvanchal as their investment destination,” said Additional Chief Secretary of MSME and Export Promotion Navneet Sehgal.
Giving details of the “One district, one product” scheme, Sehgal said the government had inked an agreement with the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, for opening its centre in Siddharthnagar district. The centre is expected to help increase production and quality maintenance of the “Kala Namak” variety of rice produced in the district.
Earlier in the day, during a technical session on the primary sector on “Sustainable development: Issues, strategies and future direction of Purvanchal”, Minister for Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Research Surya Pratap Shahi said the state government was preparing to distribute vegetable seeds to over 20 lakh farmers for free.
He said the state government was promoting horticulture, vegetable and fruit farming in Purvanchal with the aim of doubling farmers’ income. According to the minister, horticulture has immense potential in the region as cereals can be harvested in six months, while vegetables can be reaped in two to three months.
He added, “The reason behind farmers being backward is that they do not have updated knowledge of technology. Diversification and multi-cropping are the demands of the agriculture sector as well as horticulture and they can play an important role.”
Shahi said a centre of the Rice institute had been opened in Varanasi, while efforts were being made to open a centre of International Potato Centre. The minister added that in the last three years, almost Rs 300 crore had been given to Krishi Vigyan Kendra and other agricultural institutions.
Giving details of the infrastructure created for food processing, Shahi said two mango-packaging houses had been constructed in Amroha and Varanasi districts at a cost of Rs 9.90 crore each. During the pandemic, nearly 2,000 quintal mangoes were exported from this region.
“Dasheri mangoes have been UP’s identity. However, its quality can be further enhanced. Export of Gaurjit mangoes of Gorakhpur and Basti can also be increased by enhancing their quality. These mangoes have the capability to give a tough competition to the Alphonso variety,” Shahi said.
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