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Time for India to grow Oil Palm and focus on Agri Export – Shobha Karandlaje

Bengaluru – If we want to double the income of our farmers, we need to focus on enhancing the Agri exports and our Agri produce to be made chemical-free, said Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Shobha Karandlaje.

While participating in the event, Vanijya Utsav, organized by APEDA- at Bengaluru on Wednesday Minister said we have become self-reliant in all most all sectors except Edible Oils. Now it is time for us to grow Oil Palm and set up oil processing Units to achieve Aatma Nirbharata in the oil palm sector. India’s Agri future lies in exports she said.

India last year has produced 305 million MT of food grains and 326 Million MT of Fruits and vegetables. Amidst of COVID Pandemic India has produced record quantity of agricultural produce Minister said. But compared to other states Karnataka is lagging behind in exports. We are producing a large number of food grains, fruits, and vegetables which have demand in other countries and based on the demand it can be exported. But we need to focus on the quality of the product as well as it should be chemical-free.  As there is demand for Agri produce we need to have proper Agri infrastructure to maintain the quality. Central Government has sanctioned funds for Agri infrastructure which has to be utilized properly.  Karnataka is blessed with varied agro-climatic zones and we have to exploit these varied agro-climatic zones to grow a variety of Agri products. Also, there is a need for enhancing our R&D departments to get the good quality of Agri produce which is suitable for export.

Dr Rajkumar Khatri, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture in his Keynote address said the Industry department is the face of the Economy. Karnataka has large potential in Agri exports and it has to be utilized.

Dr Rajender Kumar Kataria principal Secretary to department of Horticulture and sericulture said Karnataka has huge scope in food processing sector.

M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA  said as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav APEDA is organizing programs across the country. Vanijya Utsav held in Bengaluru is one among such programs. Karnataka and Bengaluru are example settlers in the field of Agriculture and horticulture he said.

Neeraj Kumar Verma, Chief General Manager NABARD, Bengaluru Dr Anandramakrishnan, Director Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Tanjavur, H.D. Lokesh, I T S, Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, Bengaluru were present on the occasion.

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