‘Nagpur, Amravati orange clusters to start functioning in Feb’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Dec 2017 11:10:08


Business Bureau,

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, the orange cluster in Nagpur and Amravati would start functioning in February. The clusters are being established to send Vidarbha oranges to the international markets. An MoU had been signed between Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA), New Delhi and Agricultural Department of the State Government for creation of cluster and to guide the farmers for improving the quality of Vidarbha oranges.
Singh was speaking as chief guest on the second day of the ‘World Orange Festival’ at Kavivarya Suresh Bhatt Auditorium here on Sunday.

Lokmat Media Group Chairman and former Member of Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda, UPL Group Chairman and Managing Director Rajubhai Shroff, UPL Global CEO Jay Shroff were present on the dais.

Singh continued that no concrete steps were taken in the last 70 years for the development of agriculture. “After 1980, small and marginal farmers, nearly about 85 per cent, were badly hit by draught and famine and consequently the input cost went up which put burden of loan on the farmers,” he said.

He alleged that no investment had been done to improve the agriculture sector. “ A few years ago, farmers had to make a queue before the urea shop because 35 per cent urea used to go to chemical plants while Government was providing an aid of Rs 50,000 crore to the urea plants,” he said.

He said, scientists had invented Neem coated urea in 2003 and now Government had made it mandatory for the urea plants to manufacture Neem-coated urea to stop the blackmarketing of the urea.

He said, the Government had launched several schemes to promote horticulture as in the year 2015-16, 9 crore metric tonne of fruits were produced in 63 lakh hectare of land while in the year 2016-17, the production was expected to touch 20 crore metric tonne.
He said, the agriculture scientists had been working on frontline extension while State Government Department was working on field extension.

He said, Nagpur based CCRI had started 10 centres in the country and it was bearing the fruits. Government had announced Rs 6,000 crore package for food processing three months ago which would generate jobs for 5.5 lakh people.