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Humnabad to get cold storage plant for fruits

Special Correspondent

MoU signed for the Rs. 8.04-crore project will give a push to export of grapes

— PHOTO: K. GOPINATHAN

MUCH-NEEDED FACILITY:K.J. Devendrappa (left), managing director of KAPPEC; Agriculture Minister S.A. Ravindranath; Asit Tripathy, Chairman of KAPPEC, New Delhi; and Abijith Das Gupta, Development Commissioner, at a function got up to sign the MoU for setting up a cold storage plant, in Humnabad in Bidar district, in Bangalore on Friday.

BANGALORE: An integrated cold storage plant aimed at increasing exports of fruits from Bidar district is expected to come up in Humnabad in the next 18 months.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up the cold storage plant at a cost of Rs. 8.04 crore was signed between Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd. (KAPPEC) and Agricultural and Processing Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) here on Friday.

The plant includes pack house, washing, grading and waxing line, besides two pre-cooling units of six tonnes capacity, four export cold rooms of 50 tonnes capacity each, commercial cold storage comprising three rooms of 300 tonnes and a reefer van.

The cold storage plant for which APEDA had sanctioned Rs. 6.53 crore – the remaining Rs. 1.51 crore to be invested by KAPPEC – is expected to increase exports of grapes and pomegranates by at least 500 tonnes.

Minister for Agriculture S.A. Ravindranath, complimented APEDA for sanctioning the cold storage plant in Bidar.

Bidar produces 36,941 tonnes of horticultural produce like grapes, pomegranates, mangoes, banana and lime, besides 1.21 lakh tonnes of vegetables like tomato, cabbage, onion and cauliflower.

Bovine meat

Chairman of APEDA Asit Tripathy, who came down from New Delhi for the MoU signing ceremony, said India was among the leading exporters of buffalo meat in the world.

Out of the Rs. 35,000 crore worth of agricultural and processed food exported through APEDA last year, buffalo meat or bovine meat accounted for Rs. 7,000 crore. “Bovine meat accounts for 20 per cent of our exports. It is next only to basmati rice. We have no competition for supplying bovine meat,” he said.

In response to a question, Mr. Tripathy said India's total export of merchandise last year reached $ 200 billion out of which agricultural produce accounted for $ 15 billion. “A lot of products like tea, coffee and rubber do not fall under the purview of APEDA through which goods estimated at Rs. 35,000 crore were exported last year,” he said.

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