Anantapur emerging as fruits hub of AP

Anantapur emerging as fruits hub of AP
Highlights

Anantapur district has emerged as a \'Fruit Basin\' with plenty of horticulture plantations sprouting on its firmament. But, the district has no infrastructure facilities like cold storage facilities,ware houses and processing plants like in chittoor where there are number of plants for mango and guava processing etc,

Garladinne (Anantapur): Anantapur district has emerged as a 'Fruit Basin' with plenty of horticulture plantations sprouting on its firmament. But, the district has no infrastructure facilities like cold storage facilities,ware houses and processing plants like in chittoor where there are number of plants for mango and guava processing etc,

Pack houses, ripening chambers, and a host of facilities and amenities are required for the marketing the nearly 20 varieties of fruits. The district needs common centres where all fruit farmers can connect with processing facilities and export agencies.

More and more farmers are withdrawing from groundnut cultivation and taking up horticulture as the traditional groundnut crop is subject to vagaries of nature and climate change. An estimated 1,86,604 acres are under horticulture cultivation in the district and 58,972 acres under vegetable cultivation.

With Krishna water diversion to Rayalaseema through Hundri Neeva project and, recharging of bores through the filling of village tanks, horticulture holds promise and is poised for expansion every year.

Horticulture deputy director Subbarayudu told The Hans India that the citizens of the district feast on a variety of fruits not available in other districts and 99 percent of fruits available are grown here.

Bananas, Pomegranates, Custard Apples, Grapes, Guava, Figs(anjuram), Mangoes, Musk Melon, Water Melon, Honey Melon, Papayya, Sweet Limes, Lose Jackets, Goose Berries, Straw berries and Black Berries etc. are among the fruits grown here. The gross value of the fruits exported from the district is Rs.6,200 crores. While investment on the plantations is Rs.400 crores, the production is at 40 lakh tonnes.

These fruits are the pride of the district. The Pomegranates raised here are highly esteemed in countries abroad and have great export value.Bananas are grown in Tadipatri, Yellanuru,PutluruBattalapalle and in other places and their market is New Delhi. Farmers market their produce in Delhi as they have a tie-up with Delhi traders.

Pomegranates are raised in Kanekal, Bommanahal, Kalyandurgam, Yellanur, Putluru, Rayadurgam, Tadipatri and Kuderu. Custard Apples are grown in Rayadurgam, Madakasira, Kambadur and Kalyandurgam. Guava plantations are grown in Tadipatri,Pamidi,Puttalur, Bukkapatnam and Dharmavaram. Fig (anjuram) which is an Israel fruit is cultivated in Kanekal, Bommanahal, Kalyandurgam and Rayanadurgam and Garladinnemandals.

Mango plantations are spread across Kadiri,Mudigubba, Garladinne, Tadipatri,Yadiki and Vajrakarurmandals. Water Melons, Musk Melons and Honey Melons are raised in Raptadu, Garladinne, Kalyandurgam and Pamidimandals. Papayyas and Sweet Lime are grown in most of the mandals including Yellanur, Potluru, Tadipatri, Uravakonda, Dharmavaram and Kuduru while grapes are cultivated in Uravakonda, Kuderu, Garladinne and several other mandals.

Most of the fruits are exported to Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Benguluru, New Delhi, Mumbai,Chennai and even to countries abroad USA, Middle East and to Western Countries.

The department of Horticulture is extending subsidies up to 40 percent on plants raised apart from incentives like maintenance of the plants for three years etc. Farmers Rajanna, Obuleshu and Kiran Reddy of Kalyandurgam and Garladinnemandalswho are raising Pomegranate and Musk Melons says that as of now there are not many initiatives on the part of the government except promoting horticulture crops.

No real steps are being taken to create common facility centres and a convergence of stake holders like, farmers, entrepreneurs, processing technicians, grading centres and exporting agencies and people who can bring together the stake holders including marketing agencies. The chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is yet to come out with a slew of measures that will really create conditions for the district to emerge as a horticulture hub.

By RAVI P BENJAMIN

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