Aimed at incentivising farmers to transport their agricultural produce through Kisan Rail, Indian Railways and Ministry of Food Processing Industries have included mandarin (a variety of orange) and turmeric (raw) in the list of fruits and vegetables eligible for 50 per cent transportation subsidy.
Farmers can transport their produce through any type of train service provided by the public transporter under Operation Greens — Top to Total.
Fruits like mango, banana, guava, kiwi, litchi, papaya, mosambi, orange, kinnow, lime, lemon, pineapple, pomegranate, jackfruit, apple, almond, aonla, passion fruit and pear are already under subsidy.
Vegetables including French beans, bitter gourd, brinjal, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, chillies (green), okra, cucumber, peas, garlic, onion, potato and tomato are also eligible for subsidy.
Kisan Rail ensures agro products reach from one corner to another corner of the country through faster transportation, benefitting both the farmers and consumers.
Catering to the requirements of small farmers and small traders, Kisan Rail is proving to be not only a game changer but also a life changer as it meets the objective of increasing the income of farmers.
“Kisan Rail is surely changing the lives of farmers with assurance of better price with faster and cheaper transportation, providing seamless supply chain, preventing the destruction of perishable farm produce, thereby opening up the scope to increase the income of farmers," according to the Railways.
Even during the lockdown the freight trains were operating to ensure continuous supply of essential commodities. There has been significant improvement in loading of crops like wheat, pulses, fruits, vegetables with more rakes.
In order to provide benefits to parcel customers including farmers and businessmen, Indian Railways has taken a series of measures which include opening of all freight terminals for handling parcel traffic, formation of dedicated teams at zonal and divisional levels for dealing with parcel related issues, increasing the parcel carrying capacity by permitting attachment of LHB parcel van as 23rd coach, leasing of space in parcel vans attached to Rajdhani/Duronto trains, and allowing booking of parcels of up to 120 days in advance.
It has also provided incentives to parcel traffic by reducing security deposit in case of leased parcel space from 10 per cent to 5 per cent of the annual contractual value, discount of up to 30 per cent on brake-vans and indented parcel vans/parcel cargo express trains (PCET) in case their utilisation is less than 40 per cent, 8 per cent discount on base freight for parcel special trains indented and loaded with a composition of 24 parcel vans plus brake-van, and discount in advance bulk booking of parcel space.
"Operating Kisan Rail services enable farmers to move perishables, including fruits and vegetables, from production or surplus regions, to consumption or deficient regions. About 50 per cent subsidy in freight, which is borne by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, is being granted on transportation of fruits and vegetables through Kisan Rail services," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said.
So far, 24 rakes of export traffic have been sent to Bangladesh. Besides, zonal railways have been advised to explore the avenues available in the export sector and identify potential traffic that can be moved to ports through the Railways.
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