The Kerala government is actively going ahead with
its plans to give vegetable exports and the food processing
industry a major thrust.
which is one of the worlds largest producers of
vegetables, is ranked 10th in vegetable exports. Currently
the country has just about 2-per cent share of the total
world exports of fresh vegetables.
global trade of vegetables is of $920 million. The UK
is the major importer of vegetables in the world, followed
by Germany. And the biggest exporter is the US.
has a warm humid tropical climate, with annual rainfall
of above 3,000mm distributed over a long duration, and
the topography ranges from 0 to 2,000 meters above sea
level. The state has the right climate and enjoys good
rainfall throughout the year, making conditions conducive
for the growth of numerous horticultural crops throughout
areas are also under fruit cultivation with banana, pineapple
and mangoes. Kerala also has large tracts under tapioca
cultivation. All these produce are already being converted
into value-added food products by hundreds of units in
the unorganised and a handful in the organised sector.
state government has already initiated steps to set up
eight agri-export zones in an area of around 4,000 hectares.
About 16,000 farmers would be covered under the scheme.
The areas delineated are Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam,
Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and
zones are proposed to be set up at a total cost of Rs.29.07
crore and once operational, could export as much as 60,000
tonnes of fruits and vegetables a year primarily
bananas, pineapple and vegetables.
state government is also developing a cold chain protocol
for post-harvest handling of produce.