Monday, November 30, 2020

Punjab

Start train service to ferry kinnow harvest from Punjab: Harsimrat

IANS | August 10, 2020 06:19 PM

CHANDIGARH:Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to start a dedicated to and fro train service with refrigerated bogies between Abohar in Punjab and Bengaluru during the kinnow harvest season from this December to March next year.

She said the cluster of kinnow cultivation, which includes adjoining areas from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, was spread over one lakh hectares.

The minister said that Abohar functions as the focal market for aggregation of kinnows and handles 25 lakh metric tonnes of produce every year.

She said a Kisan rail originating from Abohar could take kinnow to the southern and eastern states where there is a big market for the fruit.

The biggest market for the fruit is in Bengaluru and Kolkata while a significant quantity is exported to Bangladesh.

Harsimrat Kaur said that presently due to the highly perishable nature of the fruit, only 35-40 per cent of the harvest reaches the end consumers.

"The rest gets wasted due to high temperatures during road transportation over long distances, causing loss the farmers, " she said.

She said the problem was even more acute in the peak harvesting months of February and March when temperatures start to rise in the southern and eastern states.

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