Andhra Pradesh

First Kisan Rail from South India sets off from Anantapur with fruits and vegetables to Delhi

Kisan Rail being flagged off by farmers at Anantapur Railway Station on Wednesday with 322 tonnes of fruits and vegetables for Delhi.   | Photo Credit: RVS Prasad

The first-ever ‘Kisan Rail’ of South India chugged off from Anantapur Railway Station on Wednesday carrying 322 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Adarsh Nagar in Delhi after it was virtually flagged off by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Railways Suresh Chanabasappa Angadi.

This is a step towards doubling the income of farmers by 2022 and fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise made in the Union Budget, said Mr. Tomar, and announced that ‘Kisan Udaan’ sending horticulture and agriculture produce by flights would soon begin from the North Eastern States.

The central government is committed to investing ₹1 lakh crore in the agriculture infrastructure, he added.

The first ‘Kisan Rail’ train was run from Deolali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said 15.6% of the country’s fruit production came from Andhra Pradesh as it is grown in 17.42 lakh hectares, but only 10 to 15% of the produce is consumed locally and the rest is sent either by road or sea.

The Chief Minister quoting Anantapur MP Talari Rangaiah told the Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh C. Angadi to consider reducing the freight charges as current rates were almost equal to transport charges by lorries.

The state government had created the Market Intervention Fund and came to the rescue of farmers during the COVID-19 lockdown, the CM said.

Current Kisan Rail is carrying 322 tonnes of papaya, sweet lime, mangoes, banana, musk melon, and tomatoes in 13 bogies. One Three-Tier AC is carrying horticulture farmers, officials from Marketing, Agriculture, and Horticulture Department, and two SLR bogies of Railway Staff.

Guntakal Divisional Railway Manager Alok Tiwari said currently the freight charges were ₹5,136 per tonne and a single train can take from a minimum of 150 MT to 460 MT depending on the demand.

Anantapur MP Talari Rangaiah said 58 lakh tonnes of fruits were produced in the region and out of that only 6 lakh tonnes are consumed in a year and the district farmers were ready for utilising a train daily from October to send out their produce to Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kolkata.

About 45,000 metric tonnes of banana were exported last year from Tadipatri in Anantapur district by Desai Fruits via JNPT in Mumbai.

District Collector Gandham Chandrudu, Anantapur MLA Anantha Venkatarami Reddy, Hindupur MP Gorantla Madhav and other officials participated in the function at the railway station.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:37:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/first-kisan-rail-from-south-india-sets-off-from-anantapur-with-fruits-and-vegetables-to-delhi/article32560818.ece

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