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Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002

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TN agro-based units hail steps to boost exports

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, April 1

AGRO-BASED industries in Tamil Nadu have welcomed the measures to encourage the export of agri-produce and the proposals on setting up Agri Export Zones, announced in the Exim Policy on Sunday

The President, Federation of Floriculturists, Mr K. Natarajan, said the

proposed agri export zones held good export potential, particularly for Tamil Nadu which had scope for commercial agriculture. The proposal for setting up the zones should take a holistic approach covering farm production to processing.

For instance, more than 50 per cent of the bananas cultivated in the county did not reach the shop shelves. On-farm processing facilities were a necessity, he said.

There was also a range of traditional processed products that could be commercially exploited, he said. These included herbal teas, which had medicinal value, besides the jackfruit which can be processed in the traditional way into chips and sweets, he said. The Secretary, Madurai Oil and Oilseeds' Association, Mr V. Krishnamoorthy, said the removal of quantitative restrictions on exports had paved the way for increased income to farmers. With restrictions on registration being removed and subsidies on transport of a range of agri-produce, the farmers could now access a wiider market.

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