Madurai: Jasmine, mango clusters may boost exports from region

If things go as planned by the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Madurai district will get clusters of jasmine and mango exporting units in the coming years.

P Prasanth Waghmare, assistant general manager of APEDA, said that mango and jasmine clusters were planned for the district while charting out the Agri Export Plan for 2012 to 2017 during the 12th plan period but things went dormant after a while. Hence, the APEDA has decided to kick-start the process of reviving the project by setting up the clusters for Madurai. Waghmare was in the city on Thursday to address an awareness programme on agro products' cluster and export promotion organised by Agriculture Marketing Department at Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry hall.

Waghmare said that 60 such clusters were planned across the country and Madurai was provided with jasmine and mango clusters APEDA will start working on establishing these clusters while identifying more such clusters in the region and they will involve all the stakeholders such as farmers, industrial forums, state and central governments.

The lack of a cargo lifting, especially a centre for perishable cargo, at Madurai airport will also been taken up, he said. This is a requirement for transporting agricultural products through airlines. They will discuss the issue with the central government authorities since it is already connected with international destinations like Colombo and Dubai, he said. Commenting on the recent ban on mangoes by the European Union (EU), he said that the concerned departments in central government have taken up the issue with the EU and the issue may be resolved soon.

Earlier, addressing the programme, Waghmare explained to the chamber members and farmers about the advantages of exporting agro products and various schemes available for them under APEDA. The entire exercise of exporting agro products is to take the product from farm to customers abroad with value addition and ensure stringent quality of the product, he said. Further, it will benefit each stakeholder starting from good prices for farmers to ensuring foreign exchange to the Centre and employment generation to state government.

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