Kerala vegetable exporters seek cold storage, labs near airports

Kerala Exporters’ Forum secretary Munshid Ali said there is a demand for traditional Kerala veggies in countries with fairly good South Indian population.

Published: 10th April 2023 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2023 07:47 AM   |  A+A-

fruits, vegetables

Image used for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  With demand rising for Kerala vegetables in West Asian and European markets, exporters have urged the government to set up cold storage facilities and accredited testing laboratories near international airports. Kerala Exporters’ Forum secretary Munshid Ali said there is a demand for traditional Kerala veggies in countries with fairly good South Indian populations.

“There is good demand for Kerala veggies in the Gulf, Europe and the USA. But we need to get better air connectivity. Currently we are exporting vegetables through Dubai and it takes 16 hours for the flight to reach the US. However, Sri Lankan Airlines flight through Colombo can reach America in 11 hours. If we get more flights on this route it will be beneficial,” said Munshid Ali.

The exporters have been protesting against the high freight charges imposed by airline operators and the 18% GST imposed on air freight by the Centre. “We are unable to compete with countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who are dumping their products at cheap rates in the international market,” he said. 

The Exporters’ Forum has urged the government to provide cold storage, export inspection agency and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accredited testing labs near airports to ensure the quality of vegetables. “The exporters in Kerala are now depending on accredited labs in Bengaluru and Chennai. If the facility is available in the state, it will be a great relief for them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the School of Health Sciences under the Calicut University has come forward to establish a testing lab on its campus, only 7 km away from the Calicut airport. The varsity needs Rs 1.5 crore to establish the lab and efforts are being made to seek financial support from the state government. The Forum has urged the Kochi airport authorities to provide cold storage facility.

“We are currently depending on the Malayali population in the Gulf, Europe and the US. Apart from ensuring quality, we have to deliver the products with modern packaging that ensures its freshness. The government should ensure implementation of the packaging standards approved by the Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA),” said K B Exports managing director K B Rafeeq.

Vegetable export by air from Kerala (in tonnes)

Tvm airport: 827.6
Kochi: 1,570
Kozhikode: 1,228

Tvm: 857.5
Kochi: 1,667.8
Kozhikode: 1,067.8

Tvm: 1,101.6
Kochi: 2,059.7
Kozhikode: 1,261


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  • g.chandrasekar

    My dear Keralite 90 per cent of Kerala's requirement for vegetables is met from Tamil Nadu. It is time that tamil nadu vegetable suppliers supply sending their goods to Cochin instead transfer it to Tuticorin. at this rate kerala will even go to the extent of saying they are supplying vegetables to Pandimars
    5 months ago reply
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