Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar virtually flagged off Kisan Rail from Anantapur to New Delhi on Wednesday fulfilling the long awaited dream of Horticulture farmers of Rayalaseema region.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Suresh C Angadi, Minister of State for Railways, for starting the second Kisan Rail, first from South India, to transport horticulture produce from the State to Delhi.
The Chief Minister said that nearly 312 lakh metric tonnes of horticulture produce is being harvested across the State in 17.42 lakh hectares, standing with 15.6 percent share of fruit production in the country.
Though the State stands as the fruit capital of South India, it was difficult to tap the market out of AP, which even worsened during COVID-19 pandemic. During the hard times, the State government didn’t abandon farmers and indeed provided many more benefits by collecting the produce and exporting to other States.
Upon making a special request to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, explaining the crisis and asked him to look into the issue, which eventually landed with a boon as Kisan Rail, said CM YS Jagan and added that the train not only carries 322 Metric Tonnes of fruits but also carries happiness and smiles of the farmers.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy requested the Railway officials to reduce the fares of Kisan Rail as they are slightly on the higher side and asked to provide a good remunerative price for the farmers.
Further, the Chief Minister said that the State government had taken up a lot of initiatives in the agricultural sectors that benefits farmers and even went ahead in providing Minimum Support Price (MSP) to the farmers by introducing Market Intervention Fund. During COVID crisis, tonnes of fruits and vegetables were exported from Anantapur to Mumbai port through 11 special trains.
Nearly 45,000 tonnes of bananas, 1185 tonnes of vegetables, 1471 tonnes of fresh mangoes and 8,000 tonnes of mango pulp were exported to other countries.
The Kisan Rail cargo from Ananthapur is carrying 214 tonnes of Tomatoes, 138 tonnes of Banana, 32 tonnes of Sweet Orange, 11 tonnes of Papaya, 8 tonnes of Melons and 3 tonnes of Mangoes to Delhi.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister, Suresh C Angadi, Minister of State for Railways, Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Botsa Satyanarayana, Minister for AP Municipal Administration and Urban Development, and other officials participated in the event.