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Export of vegetables to Gulf begins

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, JAN. 17. Regular export of vegetables grown in Rajasthan started here today with the first shipment of 15 agro-commodities, weighing 1,500 kilograms, leaving for the Arabian Gulf by Indian Airlines' direct Jaipur-Dubai international flight.

The export of the agro-produce has been taken up by the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) situated at Sanganer, near here, after a good response to its trial consignment sent to Dubai last month. Two agencies are assisting NIAM in promoting export markets for agro-produce and services from the State.

The Director of NIAM, J.P. Yadav, said 25 "progressive farmers'' owning land around the State Capital had been selected for supplying vegetables for export. "Vegetables are grown through drip irrigation and special arrangement has been made for their grading and packaging to meet international standards,'' he said. The first cargo to be delivered to one of the largest supermarkets in Dubai carried commodities such as mushroom, baby corn, ladyfingers, beans, Chinese cabbage, green onion, lemons, peas and green chillies. Some samples of kinnows, grown mainly in Sriganganagar district, were also sent along with the shipment.

Dr. Yadav said that export of vegetables would in no way affect their availability or prices in the local market and would rather encourage competition among farmers leading to the production of better quality of agro-commodities. The items to be exported will be tested by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and the State Government's Horticulture Department for issue of phyto-sanitary certificate.

The NIAM has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Horticulture Produce Management Institute, New Delhi, and a Jaipur-based private firm for developing horticulture exports.

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