CARGO COMPLEX FOR PERISHABLES TO GIVE BIG BOOST TO AGRO EXPORTS – JAITLEY
Date : 21 Mar 2003
Location : New Delhi
Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister for Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice, has said that the Cargo Complex for Perishables inaugurated at Mumbai this morning reflects the government’s commitment to the horticulture sector in India and would give a big boost to India’s agro-exports especially to Europe, Japan and the US as a world-class centre of this kind would inspire greater confidence in all the importers. The Centre for Perishable Cargo is one of the largest in the world with a refrigerated area of 30,000 sq. ft. and is designed with a strategy of zero defect in the quality of the perishable products transiting through it by incorporating state-of-the-art refrigeration, materials handling and electronic data interchange technologies. Shri Jaitley further indicated that the government was looking at the possibility of setting up similar cargo centres for perishables at Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Amritsar to cater to the needs of Agri Export Zones in such areas. The Agricultural & Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) is already promoting the setting up of Agri Export Zones in Maharashtra and Gujarat in their fruit and vegetable growing areas. Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, also participated in the function along with other dignitaries.
The Centre can handle up to 1,00,000 tonnes of perishable cargo per year. The present volume being exported is around 50,000 tonnes per year, Shri Jaitley noted, while emphasising that this would be expanded manifold with the inauguration of the new complex. The Centre can service 70 tonne charters under 90 minutes resulting in a highly economical turnaround time and motivate charter operators to include Mumbai as a preferred base in their agenda, he said.
Hoping that the Centre would influence the downstream supply chain with the APEDA having already supported investment in pack houses, Shri Jaitley urged exporters to resort to the use of the complete cold-supply chain from the farm right upto the importing countries world wide.
He also urged the exporters from Maharashtra and Gujarat to bring about revolution in the exports of fresh produce as this cargo complex for perishables would give them an unique logistical strength for exports to many areas in the world, especially the Far-East, the Russian Federation and the US. He also expressed the hope that the growers of Alphonso mangoes, along with Kesar from the Ratnagiri, Konkan and Aurangabad districts in Maharashtra and the Kesar from Navsari, Valsad and Junagadh districts in Gujarat would make use of the huge advantage that the complex would provide for exports of their perishable goods.