Kolkata: Buoyed by the overwhelming response in vegetable export to countries of the Middle East, the Bengal Government is gearing up to export the same to Europe and America. The State Food Processing & Horticulture Department that had initiated the process of vegetable export to the Middle East in August last year is now working hard to augment the production and develop the necessary infrastructure for storage by working in tandem with the Agriculture, Agri-Marketing and West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation Limited.
The Horticulture Department has been exporting vegetables like gourd, shrimp (jhinga), bitter gourds, yard long beans, ladies fingers, parval etc to countries of the Middle East from August last year. The maximum demand has been for ladies finger, yard long beans, luffa vegetables and chillies. The best variety of vegetables that are of export quality is being grown in districts of Bankura as no chemicals or pesticides are used.
Around 2.5 tonnes of vegetables are being exported per day by air to the Middle East but the demand is much more. Recently, the department has started exporting vegetables like oal or yam and pumpkin by sea route. Chillies, however, have not yet passed the standards for export.
In an effort to boost the food processing sector, the department is providing subsidy for setting up packhouses (warehouses where produce are cleaned, graded and stored temporarily) and cold storage modifications.