February 23, 2011

West Bengal to set up 31 cold storage facilities

Kolkata, Feb 2 (IANS): West Bengal will establish 31 cold storage facilities and several food parks across the state to give farmers better rewards for their produce, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Wednesday announced.

The cold storages will be built in association with the state agricultural marketing department, Bhattacharjee said while inaugurating the 'Horti Food Fest 2011' organised by the state's department of food processing industry and horticulture here.

'Along with production, it is essential that there are storage facilities. Marketing of the goods is also very important. These cold storage facilities and food parks will play an important role in enabling the farmers to get better rewards for their produce,' he said.

Describing the state's agriculture productivity as 'very encouraging', the chief minister said: 'We need to consolidate on this growth. We have collaborated with several companies for providing quality seeds and bio-fertilisers to the farmers.'

Bhattacharjee also said that under the food processing and horticulture policy, the government will be providing land, electricity and marketing strategies to encourage small entrepreneurs.

Declaring agriculture as the success story of West Bengal, he said: 'There is no doubt we have had a marked success in agriculture. We are the highest producer of rice, cabbage and cauliflower.'

'The annual vegetable produce of the state last year was 130 lakh tonnes. We also produced 28 lakh metric tonnes of fruits and 5580 tonnes of flowers,' he added.

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