West Bengal, which was declared as the top State in vegetable production in 2018-19, has accounted only 20 percent of the country’s total exports of fruits, vegetable seeds, and fresh vegetables and is looking for more shares in the global market, says a report. In terms of value, the State’s share of the total exports is around 11 percent.
As per the report of ‘BusinessLine’, West Bengal produced 29.55 million tonnes (mt) of vegetables in 2018-19 as against 27.70 mt in the year before. On the other hand, Vegetable production in UP came down to 27.71 mt in 2018-19 from 28.32 mt the previous year, according to the State-wise horticulture production data released by the Agriculture Ministry recently.
Total Export of Fruits and Vegetable
West Bengal exported around 1, 43,925.89 tonnes of fresh vegetables in 2018-19 estimated at around??258.22 crores, as against India’s exports of around 7,20,558.42 tonnes, valued at??1,950.96 crores. As per reports, fruits and vegetable seeds exports stood at around 6,013.44 tonnes as against the national total of 16,151 tonnes.
According to Pradip Kumar Mazumdar, Chief Advisor, State Agriculture Department, West Bengal has been focusing on diversifying into many varieties of crops that are in demand which helps to give farmers better prices.
“The problem with agriculture throughout the country is that people are aimlessly chasing productivity enhancement without understanding the demand. In West Bengal, we have been focusing on diversifying into such varieties of crops which are in demand so that the farmer at the end of the day gets a better price,” Mazumdar told?BusinessLine.
While the State has been known for its potatoes across the country as it is more “institutionalized” and has the involvement of industry, vegetables were being grown more “haphazardly” without much guidance or support to farmers.