Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday that the Centre will promote the expansion of area and production of ten globally popular exotic fruit crops of commercial importance, as well as as many indigenous fruit crops with high nutritional value, in the current fiscal year.
‘During the current year, 8,951 hectares of exotic fruits and 7,154 hectares of indigenous fruits will be planted,’ Tomar said at a conference commemorating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.
According to an official statement, Tomar stated at the event that the state governments have been given targets for 2021-22 for area expansion of these crops.
The event was conducted by the Union Agriculture Ministry in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Tomar went on to say that while India is the world’s second-largest producer of horticulture crops, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that the country requires a post-harvest food processing revolution and value addition in addition to increased agri-production.
He further added that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has advocated for encouraging private sector participation as well as agricultural research and development.
He kept mentioning that the country’s horticulture output in 2020-21 was a record 329.86 million tonnes, up from 320.77 million tonnes the previous year. India accounts for about 12% of global fruit and vegetable production.
The minister expressed optimism that India will be able to achieve its goal of bringing fruits and vegetables to the plates of the poorest of the poor, not as special food, but as a daily necessity.
Among those in attendance were Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal and FAO Representative in India Tomio Shichiri.