Maha fruit growers seek land near Jalna dry port for packaging, grading of produce

  • | Tuesday | 30th November, 2021

Aurangabad, Nov 30 (PTI) An association of pomegranate producers in Maharashtra has demanded land near an under-construction dry port in Jalna district for the packaging and grading of fruits grown in the region. Talking to PTI on Tuesday, Akhil Maharashtra Dalimb Utpadak Sanshodhan Sangh secretary Dr Suyog Kulkarni said their delegation recently met Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in Latur and put forth various demands. He said Maharashtra is the largest producer of pomegranate in the country with about one lakh hectare land being used for it in the state. "The work of the dry port in Jalna has been delayed. This port is important for every vertical of the industry in Jalna and also in nearby areas as it will facilitate export. We have demanded that the government provide two acres of land along this dry port project which will help farmers in the packaging and grading of their produce," he said. He also said the bacterial blight disease and wilting hampers pomegranate production a lot. Hence, farmers should be provided an insurance cover for such crop diseases to reduce their losses. The real data of land under pomegranate cultivation should be declared every year by the government, he said, adding that this will not lead to over-production of the fruit and farmers will get good returns. Kulkarni said their association has also demanded that the government change the norms of calculating the pesticide remains over the pomegranate fruit produce. The pre-harvest interval test (indicating the wait time between pesticide application and when a crop can be harvested) should be done on the fruit seeds, instead of its skin, he said. "This will help in increasing the export of pomegranates from the country," he claimed. PTI AW GK GK

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