Thursday, August 17, 2023

Plan for agri packhouse at Mopa flies into confusion

Panaji: The government appears to have contradicted itself by saying that there is no proposal to set up a packing-cum-sorting facility for agricultural produce at Mopa international airport. Agriculture minister Ravi Naik had said in November 2022 that his department has approached GMR Goa International Airports Limited (GGIAL) to discuss the establishment of such a facility. The agriculture department had planned to build an integrated packhouse to export fresh fruits and vegetables by flights.

However, the department recently informed the state legislative assembly in writing that no proposal of that nature was made.

In the reply, Naik also admitted that “there are no existing packhouses of the directorate of agriculture in the state for agricultural produce”. The lacuna affects the ability of local farmers to export produce to other states and countries.

The lack of certified packhouses for perishables and of accredited testing labs in Goa hinder the exports of vegetables and fruits not only from Goa but also from districts of the neighbouring states.

Records show that officials from the directorate of agriculture visited Mopa airport on November 8 to explore the possibility of setting up a packhouse.

17/08/2023 Times of India

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