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Updated: December 30, 2010 17:24 IST

Chennai, Tuticorin ports to be tapped for horticulture exports

Special Correspondent
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The National Horticulture Board (NHB) is working towards tapping the sea route for exports on a larger scale and is right now holding talks with Chennai and Tuticorin ports for horticulture exports.

“We see the Chennai port as a very important link and the same with Tuticorin too. From the cost point of view, the exporters would stand to gain since the ship cargo would be cheaper for them,” Bijay Kumar, Managing Director, NHB, Union Ministry of Agriculture, Gurgaon, has said.

He had an interaction on integrated development of commercial horticulture with various stakeholders at the Agricultural College and Research Institute here on Wednesday.

Mr. Kumar said that the NHB was keen to tap five ports in the country — Chennai, Tuticorin, Kochi, Kandla and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust — to step up exports of horticulture products from respective regions.

“We are talking to exporters also in this regard. Meetings with port officials have been lined up in the next few days and our point of view is that sending through ship is a good option due to cost factor as air-cargo is costly,” he observed.

The NHB chief pointed out that the growers/exporters can decide whether to go for shipment depending on the product. “For instance, fresh fruits and vegetables require different treatment and we will see on the cold storage/container facilities during our discussions with port officials,” he said.

Mr. Kumar had interaction with farmers, bankers, agriculture scientists and mediapersons on the promotional schemes of NHB.

“Philippines has been sending its horticulture products through ships. We are getting consignment loads from different countries via sea route. When other countries are doing that, India also can promote ship cargo in a big way with support from ports instead of just depending on airlifting,” he said.

K. Vairavan, Dean, Agricultural College and Research Institute, and senior faculty of horticulture were present.

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