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Thursday, Dec 30, 2004

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APEDA, Horticulture Dept to set up export zone for chillies in Guntur

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Dec. 29

THE Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the Andhra Pradesh Department of Horticulture have signed a memorandum of understanding for establishing an Agri Export Zone (AEZ) for chillies in Guntur district at a cost of Rs 20.32 crore.

The AEZ, to be operational for a period of five years, will be funded by the Andhra Pradesh Government to the tune of Rs 5.72 crore while the Central Government would provide Rs 2.69 crore.

The remaining amount of Rs 11.9 crore will be invested by the private sector including food processors and exporters.

The AEZ contemplates to export an additional 5,000 tonnes of chillies, worth Rs 31.55 crore, from Guntur district to North America, West Europe, West Asia and Far East in the next two years.

At present, Andhra Pradesh, including Guntur district, was exporting about 10,000 tonnes of chillies per annum.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Wednesday, the State Minister for Agriculture, Mr N. Raghuveera Reddy, said that the AEZ was aimed at promoting chilli produce and products of Guntur, where chillies were cultivated in 59,000 hectares (ha) and production was 77,000 tonnes per annum.

The proposed interventions under the project include enhancement of production, modernisation of post-harvest operations and promotion of marketing.

It was envisaged to develop micro-irrigation in 2,000 ha and organic production in 50 ha.

The modernisation of post harvest operations encompass establishment of 50 drying yards, a processing unit, a grinding and packing unit and an oleoresin unit in the AEZ apart from supply of poly sheets to cover 2,000 ha.

An agri marketing information centre would be set up for the benefit of farmers.

Ten trade delegations to export destinations and an equal number of trade fairs were also contemplated for marketing Guntur chillies.

More Stories on : Spices & Condiments | Exports & Imports | Andhra Pradesh

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