The Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Maharashtra Institution for Transformation (MIT), a State government-owned unit, are trying to promote the JSW Jaigarh port for exporting mango and other agri produce from Konkan and other nearby regions.

According to Parashram Patil, Director of APEDA and Senior Advisor, Agriculture, MIT, there are several advantages to making the JSW Jaigarh Port in Maharashtra’s Jaigad district handle exports of agricultural produce. “Currently, agri-produce exports from the Konkan region take place through the JNPT port which is nearly 350 km away. Facilitating the Jaigarh port will cut logistics costs by 10 per cent and reduce the holding time by at least two days,” Patil, also an agricultural economist, told businessline in an interview.

Improving quality

For example, the cost of sending mango containers from Ratnagiri is ₹60,000 now. This can be directly save and in turn, this will improve the export competitiveness of the produce. “Also the quality of the produce will be better since it will be shipped immediately than being held up for two days in JNPT,” he said. There is no port to handle exports between New Mangalore and JNPT. 

“If Jaigarh port is tapped to export agri produce, it will have a cascading effect with the Goa and Karwar ports also being looked at for similar purposes,” the APEDA director said.

Jaigarh can handle 55 million tonnes per annum and it is the only one that can handle containers between New Mangalore and JNPT on the West Coast.

Well connected, rich producing zone

The port is well connected with the national and State Highways. The hinterland of the port includes Konkan, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and North Karnataka. Currently, it is being utilised to export and import products such as sugar, molasses, wheat and maize. 

“The surrounding region is rich in produce such as mango, cashew, fish, jackfruit and other such produce. These are exported to various countries. Being close to the growing areas in the region, it can ship out all these produce,” said Patil. 

The JSW Jaigarh Port commenced container services on January 24. It first handled the container vessel MV SSL Bharat. The port is well equipped with shore cranes, reach stackers, concrete storage yards, covered warehouses and customs formalities required for handling containers. 

Economy boost

The port provides facilities such as terminal handling, cargo stuffing, de-stuffing, bagging, custom clearance, IPT and MNR. It has installed 45 reefer plugs for refrigerated containers and this will be increased on a requirement basis. 

While cutting transportation and storage charges, the port can boost the economy of the nearby agricultural produce regions. 

Exporting agri products from the Jaigarh Port will be a strategic move to increase India’s agricultural export competitiveness, particularly from the Konkan region and western Maharashtra, the APEDA director said.