Nagpur : Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that Maharashtra has come up with a plan of promoting agri-businesses. It will have a Rs3,500 crore project covering 10,000 villages where the available technology and infrastructure will be used to create export market for fruits, including oranges. This will be done with support from the World Bank.
Showering projects for the region at the inauguration of the World Orange festival, the CM said that the concept of orange estates from Punjab will be replicated in Vidarbha covering Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha districts so that the farmers get quality planting material here. It will also create all logistics of grading, packaging, marketing etc.
Fadnavis said that thanks to the Prime Minister, big companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi will be using 10% orange pulp in their drinks. Adding that the huge project of Ramdev Baba’s orange processing plant was nearing completion and hence region should increase its productivity.
Fadnavis also announced a new decision of digitizing the entire ‘Crop Cycle Management’ of orange from sowing to marketing of the fruit. The imaging from the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre will be used along with artificial intelligence to generate precise information for the framers who will be fed with this scientific advisory through SMS.
Later speaking on the occasion, Union minister Nitin Gadkari stressed on the need for developing an orange variety which has all the qualities of a table fruit and yet have enough sweetness for processing. He said that since there were no facilities for grading, the export market could not be captured to the desired extent.
Gadkari suggested that farmers here should come together and form a Vidarbha Santra Utpadak Sangh for expediting the export market. He said innovative researchers or companies were not ready to come to India and called upon the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth and the Central Citrus Research Institute to understand the successful practices in world and imitate them locally. He also stressed on need for using soil testing and plant pathology sciences for better orchards in the region.