Modi-Yogi's resolve to double farmers' income pays off despite Covid
Huge consignments of fresh green vegetables were flown to the Gulf countries for the second time recently in less than two years from Purvanchal despite the crisis unleashed by the novel coronavirus, benefitting farmers substantially in terms of income.
Lucknow: Varanasi, Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh is fast emerging as the export hub for green vegetables within the country, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's consistent efforts to enhance farmers' income on the one hand and do justice to the fertile land of the region on the other.
Huge consignments of fresh green vegetables were flown to the Gulf countries for the second time recently in less than two years from Purvanchal despite the crisis unleashed by the novel coronavirus, benefitting farmers substantially in terms of income. The increased frequency of exports of green vegetables and mangoes to the UK and the Gulf region from Purvanchal has also enabled not only the large Indian expatriate population, but other foreign residents, as well as the sheikhs of the Gulf region, to get to taste their choicest Indian vegetables and fruits more often.
Recently, an Air India Express' aircraft carrying two metric tonnes of green vegetables originating from Prayagraj, Bhadohi and Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of the honourable Prime Minister, took off from Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur to reach Dubai and Sharjah regions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said Regional In-Charge of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA) Dr CB Singh.
The vegetables being exported include okra, sweet gourd (nenua), pointed gourd (parwal), ivy gourd (kundru) and elephant foot yam (jimikand). Earlier, in 2020, langda mangoes, green chilly and black salt rice had been exported to the UK, Qatar and the UAE.
Another significant development that has taken place due to PM Modi's and CM Yogi's efforts is that farmers are exporting food items directly, sans involvement of middlemen which is bringing them more financial benefits while ensuring transparency in the system. The farmers are exporting their farm produce through the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO). The FPO also facilitates training of the farmers and ensures availability of good seeds and fertilisers to them. In times of calamity and natural disasters, the farmers get adequate compensation also.
The FPOs have enhanced income of around 40,000 farmers of Purvanchal. It is worth mentioning here that there are around 15-20 farmers associated with one FPO whereas about 35 to 40 FPOs are active in Purvanchal.
According to the Regional In-Charge of APEDA Dr CB Singh, while the Government had been working towards developing Varanasi into an agri export centre since long, it finally came into being on November 1, 2019 following a Buyer and Seller Meet held in the city in which 20 exporters, 25 FPOs and farmers associated with 120 FPOs took part.
Singh added that 3 metric tonnes of fresh green chillies were flown to London from Varanasi via Delhi until April 23, 2020. It was followed by export of three metric tonnes of fresh langda mangoes to Dubai in May, 2020, and 1.2 MT of mangoes to London, a new market for Purvanchal mangoes in June, 2020.
Furthermore, exporters purchased 80 metric tonnes of black salt rice from farmers of Chandauli district, popularly known as the 'rice bowl' of UP, with the efforts of APEDA in June, 2020. Around Rs 68 lakhs raised from the export of the rice was directly transferred to the bank accounts of 152 farmers. Besides, 532 metric tonnes of regional rice, including 12 metric tonnes of the famous black salt rice of Chandauli was exported to Qatar in December. Oman's Global Logistics Group also visited Varanasi in order to boost exports.
In order to bring more economic benefits to farmers, export licences are being given to more and more FPOs since July, 2020. It has played vital role in increasing the income of farmers significantly.
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