Andhra Pradesh flags off country’s first ‘fruit train’

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A ‘fruit train’, said to be the first of its kind in the country, was flagged off from Tadipatri Railway Station in Anantapur district on Thursday afternoon, carrying a load of 980 metric tonnes of locally grown bananas to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, from where the consignment will be exported to Iran.

Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) Chief General Manager D. Satyanarayana, A.P. Horticulture Commissioner Chiranjiv Chaudhary, Desai Fruits Venture Founder Ajit Desai and Guntakal Divisional Railway Manager Alok Tiwari formally flagged off the exclusive air-conditioned container rake in the presence of Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu.

“This is the first time in India that an entire train is being sent to the gateway port (JNPT) for export. This helps save both time and fuel as 150 trucks would have been required to send a consignment of this size by road to JNPT, which is over 900 km away, before the temperature-controlled containers are loaded on ships,” Mr. Satyanarayana said.

The Horticulture Commissioner said there was a potential to send 10,000 MT of fruits from Tadipatri after sourcing them from Anantapur and Kadapa districts. The government was targeting exports of 30,000 MT of fruits from all over Andhra Pradesh, and had roped in six major corporate companies to collaborate with the local farmers to enhance the productivity, quality of produce, post-harvest treatment and packing, providing market linkage and ensuring higher prices with a regular increase in income year-on-year.

The bananas are being exported under the brand name ‘Happy Bananas’. Farmers from Putlur region in Anantapur and Pulivendula in Kadapa district are exporting ‘Green Cavendish’ bananas to many international markets.

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