In order to ease the movement of fruits and vegetables from the ports of the country, the government has decided to build a special jetty in all the major ports, said Union minister for shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.
“There are nine nations in the Gulf (middle-east). They do not have fruits or vegetables. All they have is oil and money. These are currently being supplied by Europe and African countries…. We can send our cargo to the markets in the Gulf by the sea route in just three days from Mundra, Kandla and Pipavav ports. We have decided that we will develop a special jetty on the all the major ports under the Government of India. From these jetties, farmers’ produce like fruits, vegetables, will be sent with relative ease,” said Mandaviya while speaking at an annual general meeting of Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd (Gujcomasol) held here.
“The farmers cannot send these fruits and vegetables directly, but farmers’ cooperative bodies like Gujcomasol surely can. I have studied the Dubai market… We should open a consultancy office overseas who can tell us about the local demand and the same can be exported… This will help prevent situations where the farmer has to sell cabbage at Rs 2 per kilogram. It will help farmers get better remuneration,” he said adding that farmers cooperatives in Maharashtra has already opened similar offices in the middle-east.
The Union minister said that the government is also mulling on providing subsidies to help farmers’ produce reach foreign shores. “Till now, Government of India used to provide subsidies for goods send by air cargo. Now, we have decided to provide similar subsidies to agriculture produce sent through sea routes. This will help our goods sustain in foreign markets,” he said.
The minister said that an irradiation plant in Bavla in Ahmedabad district is helping mango farmers in Gujarat to export their produce to the European markets. “The air cargo hub at Ahmedabad airport helping flowers from Gujarat to be sold in markets of Japan,” he told farmers attending the meet.