September 24, 2020

Bihar neglect cry to Prabhu

Patna: Agriculture minister Prem Kumar on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union minister of commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu, urging him to include some more food items from Bihar, produced in different regions of the state, in the agriculture export promotion policy, 2018.

The letter was written in the wake of the commerce and industry ministry’s recent decision to include litchi, produced in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, in the draft agriculture export promotion policy.

Prem, in his letter, thanked the Union minister for including litchi in the policy and has drawn his attention towards some of the other major agricultural products of Bihar, pleading for their inclusion in the export promotion policy.

The items mentioned in the agriculture minister’s letter include Katarni rice and Jardalu mango of Bhagalpur, Magahi betel leaf of Nawada, makhana (Fox nut) produced in Mithila and adjoining regions of Bihar, the banana variety grown near Hajipur in Vaishali district and some vegetables like tomato, onion and potato produced in the state.

“I would request you to consider inclusion of these items in the agriculture export promotion policy,” the state minister’s letter says.

The letter also pointed out that Katarni rice and Jardalu mango of Bhagalpur and Magahi betel of Nawada were recently given geographical indication (GI) tag, which has enhanced their commercial value and also their export potential.

Justifying his move to write to the Centre, the minister said: “Inclusion of the suggested items in the export promotion policy document would directly benefit state farmers. It would also help us realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to double farmers’ income by 2022.”

The minister’s letter also mentioned that Bihar happened to be the third largest vegetable producer and fifth largest fruit producer in the country. It also says that 80 per cent of the Makhana in the world is produced in Bihar.

It is not the first time that a demand to include more items in the agriculture export promotion policy has been made. Earlier this month, the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, too, had come up with a similar demand. The BCCI too had sent a letter to the Union minister sharing details of various products and their speciality on the basis of which the request was made.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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