Kolkata: After success with export to the Middle East, the Bengal Government has now decided to move ahead and expand the market for its vegetables, to include Europe and USA.
The Food Processing and Horticulture Department had started exporting vegetables to the Middle East, which includes the Gulf countries, in August 2016. There has been a big success with respect to lady’s fingers, beans, chillies and ridge gourds.
The best of these is grown in Bankura district, and that too, organically, that is, without the use of any chemical fertilizers. More areas in the western part of Bengal have been identified for growing vegetables with high potential for export. Whatever help in the form of irrigation and the requirement of organic fertilizers is required would be provided by the State Government.
Every day, about 2.5 tonnes are exported over flights to the Middle East, but even that is not enough to satisfy the demand, such is the quality of the vegetables. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying her best to get airlines to start direct flights between Bengal and Europe, and when that happens, vegetables would be exported to Europe.
Bengal is soon coming out with a food processing policy, so that definite rules and opportunities are created for people wanting to invest in this high-demand sector. The government is providing subsidies to those investing in the construction of packhouses and cold storages, which are crucial logistical components for export to be a success.