Undoubtedly, the West Bengal vegetable and horticultural market will get a major boost after the Federal Finance minister announced that Indian Railways will set up the 'Kisan Rail' project, with refrigerated coaches for perishable goods.
According to senior officials of the state agricultural marketing department more than 18% to 25% of the vegetables, fruits and flowers get wasted during transportation mainly to the other parts of the country.
"Now we have to send the vegetables through trucks where there is no adequate facility to keep the temperature intact. Moreover sometimes it takes more than a week to transport these perishable products. Naturally it becomes dry and farmers don't get proper value. They prefer to sell it at lower price in the local market than send it to other districts," state agricultural advisor Pradip Majumdar said.
Timesofindia.indiatimes.com reported on Sitaraman in her budget speech announcing that in an effort to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, included milk, meat and fish, the Indian Railways will set up a "Kisan Rail". There shall be refrigerated coaches in express and freight trains as well.
The announcement comes at a time when the state outsmarting Uttar Pradesh emerged as the top state in the country in vegetable production in 2018-19, according to horticulture production data released by the Central government recently.