MADURAI: While proposals such as establishment of food processing and agro-export centres to improve export of agricultural produce and value-added products are laudable, experts opined that focus is needed to improve inland logistics.
G Ajeethan, a major exporter of fresh fruits and general secretary of TN banana producers association, said: “Both the Central and State agri budgets have proposals to develop agriculture-based export. Issues with Inland logistics, however, has been a major reason for the lack of growth in fresh-fruits export from the State. Expenses incurred in logistics jacks up prices of the products, which then lose out in competition in domestic and international markets,” he said.
“To tackle this, the State government can consider providing subsidies for the transportation of agriculture products. It should implement Operation Greens of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (which provides 50 per cent subsidy in transportation cost) and the ‘Kisan Rail’ scheme,” he said.
On the focus of organic farming and exports in the budget, Rajesh, a farmer and an agricultural exporter, said: “There is high demand for organic agricultural products in both domestic and international markets. The State government’s proposal to promote organic farming and establish food processing and agro-export centres will spur export.”