Govt. will set up irradiation plants: Agriculture Minister

‘Aim is to make products exported from State gain greater acceptance in global markets’

Agriculture Minister K. Kannababu has said that the government will set up irradiation plants wherever needed to make agricultural products exported from the State gain greater acceptance in the global markets where the quality norms are stringent.

“One such facility is in the process of being established in the Mallavalli industrial park in Krishna district,” Mr. Kannababu has said.

The Minister was participating in the ‘Vanijya Utsavam’, the Trade & Exports Carnival of Andhra Pradesh, being jointly organised by the Department of Industries & Commerce, the AP Economic Development Board, the Plastics Export Promotion Council of India (PLEXCONCIL) and the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Wednesday.

“Agriculture is grappling with challenges like a shrinking land base, dwindling water resources, shortage of labour, increasing costs and uncertainties associated with volatility in the international markets. This called for close cooperation among the farmers, farmer producers, fishermen, and the apex bodies such as APEDA, MPEDA and EXIM Bank to overcome the problems that stifled growth to some extent,” he observed.

Mr. Kannababu said agriculture and Food Processing Industries (FPI) played a vital role in the economy as over 70% of the rural households depended on them for their livelihood.

He said the number of registered FPIs in the State accounted for 15% share in the country, and a concerted effort was being made to promote them. Due emphasis was laid on reducing post-harvest losses and developing cold chain infrastructure.

Mr. Kannababu further said the government identified lead crops in 25 parliamentary constituencies for the sake of establishing 42 commodity-specific secondary processing centres. Different modes of logistics were being integrated to bring down the Cost of Doing Business. Eight fishing harbours and four fish landing centres were being set up at a cost of ₹3,000 crore to improve the lives of the fisher folks, he added.

Later, Special Chief Secretaries R. Karikal Valaven (industries) and Poonam Malakondaiah (agriculture, horticulture and fisheries), Visakhapatnam SEZ Commissioner A. Rama Mohan Reddy and PLEXCONCIL Executive Director Sribash Dashmahopatra gave presentations on various topics.

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