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AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy flags off Kisan Rail

Our Bureau. Amaravati (AP) | Updated on September 09, 2020 Published on September 09, 2020

Officials oversee the loading of fruits on to the Kisan Rail at Anantapur Railway Station   -  THE HINDU

When AP, dubbed the Fruit Capital of India, faced difficulty in shipping its produce to markets outside the State during the pandemic, the State govt came to its rescue

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, flagged off, in virtual mode, the Kisan Rail from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh to New Delhi on Wednesday, fulfilling a long-awaited desire of horticulture farmers of the Rayalaseema region.

The Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi, for starting the second Kisan Rail, and the first from South India, to transport horticulture produce from AP to Delhi.

The Chief Minister said that nearly 312 lakh metric tonnes of horticulture produce was being harvested in the State. This constituted 15.6 per cent share of the fruit production in the country.

Though the State is the fruit capital of South India, it faced difficult in tapping the markets outside AP. That situation worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the country.

However, during these hard times, the State government did not abandon the farmers. It collected the produce and shipped these to other States. The Prime Minister was apprised of the crisis situation. That eventually resulted in the Kisan Rail chugging off from Anantapur, said Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The Chief Minister requested the Railway officials to reduce the fares of Kisan Rail as they are slightly on the higher side. He also sought remunerative prices for the farmers.

The Chief Minister said that the State government had taken up a number of initiatives in the agricultural sector to benefit the farmers. It has provided Minimum Support Price (MSP) to the farmers by introducing the Market Intervention Fund. During the Covid-19 crisis, tonnes of fruits and vegetables were exported from Anantapur to Mumbai port through 11 special trains. Nearly 45,000 tonnes of bananas, 1,185 tonnes of vegetables, 1,471 tonnes of fresh mangoes and 8,000 tonnes of mango pulp were exported to other countries.

The Kisan Rail cargo from Ananthapur is carrying 214 tonnes of tomatoes, 138 tonnes of bananas, 32 tonnes of sweet orange, 11 tonnes of papaya, eight tonnes of melons and three tonnes of mangoes to Delhi.

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Published on September 09, 2020
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