Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], May 16 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu on Saturday expressed gratitude to the central government for announcing a chilli cluster for the state and said the proposed cluster will help all stakeholders including growers, traders and exporters.
The minister said it was a long pending demand from the farming community of Andhra Pradesh to set up a dedicated Chilli Board here in Guntur.
"We hope with the new announcement, the cluster can fill that gap and support thousands of our local farmers. We believe that the proposed cluster will definitely help all the stakeholders including growers, traders and exporters. We extend our full support and cooperation to the central government to set up the cluster here in Andhra Pradesh, a major agrarian state in the country," said Kannababu, according to an official statement.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, on Friday, announced that the Centre will support setting up a chilli cluster in Andhra Pradesh to encourage the local farmers to get more value for their produce and also to leverage the export potential of the Indian spice.
According to the statement, the proposed chilli cluster will potentially attract more private investments into setting up of warehouses, processing units and value-added export-oriented units, creating more employment opportunities to the locals.
"Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of red chilli in India with about one-third of the total area under cultivation and more than 50 per cent of the total production in the country. The state's export contribution is even more at 60 per cent to 70 per cent," it added.
In continuation of this process, Sitaraman announced several reformative measures targetting agriculture and allied sectors to give them a boost while competing in the global markets with increasing exports.
Sitharaman had on Friday announced Rs 1 lakh crore financial assistance to fund agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points.
The agri-infrastructure fund will be used for setting up cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure, she had said. (ANI)