New Indian Express reports that the central govt. has suggested that Orissa apply for an agricultural export zone. Following are excerpts from that article.
Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday hinted that an Agriculture Export Zone (AEZ) in Orissa could be considered once the proposal for the same was received by the Centre.
Ramesh, who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat, told reporters that the AEZ would be established in Kandhmal for organic turmeric. …
The State Government has already identified land for establishment of the AEZ in Kandhmal where a majority of the tribals cultivate organic turmeric.
Ramesh said that he requested the Chief Minister to concentrate more on export of organic coffee from Koraput, ginger and turmeric from Kandhmal and Sal from Mayurbhanj which could generate more employment opportunities.
The Union Minister said that Orissa exported goods worth Rs 10,400 crore last year, 90 per cent of which accounted for minerals only while the handicraft and other non-traditional products had a very negligible share.
Though Orissa is known for its famous handicraft, the export of such products stood only at 3 to 4 per cent of the total export of the country. Ramesh said the State had exported marine products to the tune of Rs 350 crore last year adding that this has to cross Rs 1000 crore in the next five years.
The Centre, he said, would sanction a cold storage for perishable products in Bhubaneswar and another for marine products in Paradip soon.