Agricultural and Food export Current Affairs - 2020

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Indian Railways: First Banana Container Train to boost exports; First High Capacity Parcel Van

With its firsts increasing, Indian Railways has recently launched a high capacity parcel van at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station.

Also, the Indian Railways has launched an exclusive Banana Container train to boost the exports of the fruit.

Highlights: Parcel Van

The new parcel van was designed and manufactured in Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory. It is the first of its kind in Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. The LHB coaches are the coaches of the Indian Railways that have been developed by the LHB company of Germany. They are mostly produced in Kapurthala Coach Factory.

The parcel van is to run at high speed of 130 km per hour. The train includes collapsible partitions and sliding doors. Also, it is Head On Generation compliant.

Highlights: Fruit Train

On January 30, 2020, Indian Railways launched the first “Fruit Train”. The train will transit from Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The train dispatched the first shipment of 890 tonnes of banana in 43 refrigerated containers.

The APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) along with export firms trained 500 farmers to cultivate bananas in more than 1800 hectares of land.

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The Pulses Conclave 2020 to be held in Lonavala, Maharashtra

The fifth Pulses Conclave 2020 is to be held in Lonavala, Maharashtra between February 12, 2020 and February 14, 2020. It is a biennial conference.

Highlights

The India Pulses and Grain Association will host the Conclave. Around 1500 stakeholders from India and other countries are expected to participate in the conference. It includes Australia, USA, Myanmar, Canada, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, etc. The conference aims at increasing exports, processing efficiencies, protein extraction, value addition and post-harvest management.

Significance

The production of pulses of pulses has been steadily growing. In 2013-14, production of pulses was around 19 million tonnes and it increased to 26.30 million tonnes in 2018-19. According to APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), in 2018-19, India exported pulses for 242.6 million USD.

With India moving towards nutritious food production from self-sufficient food production, area under pulses production has been increased. Today, around 20% of area of agriculture contributes to pulses. MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP and Karnataka are the leading pulses producing states in India.

The conference will help in achieving India’s goal of doubling farmer income by 2022.

Pulses in India

India is the largest producer of pulses in the world. It accounts to around 25% of global production. Also, India is the largest consumer of pulses. It consumes 27% of world pulses. And India is also the largest importer of pulses. India imports 14% of pulses in the world.

Pulses are significant in the country as they contribute to good consumer health as they are rich in proteins.

Also, pulses increase soil health and hence are used as annual leguminous crops.

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