In order to provide efficient market linkage to the farmers’ produce, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar flagged off the inaugural run of ‘Devlali-Danapur Kisan Rail’ today through Video Conference in the presence of Union Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal who presided over the function. Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman had made an announcement in the Union Budget 2020-21 to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish and it was also stated that the Indian Railways would set up Kisan Rail through PPP arrangements.
Speaking on the occasion, Narendra Singh Tomar said that Kisan Rail would help transport the produce of farmers to different parts of the country at a nominal cost, thus the farmer will benefit. Tomar said that due to non-availability of transportation, the farmers are not getting remunerative price for their farm produce and appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Railways to start Kisan Rail in the wake of the difficult COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the gathering through video conference, Agriculture Minister said that the government is committed towards the welfare of farmers by building a seamless national cold supply chain for perishable products in agriculture and animal husbandry sectors. Mentioning that basic needs of farmers are being fulfilled by Kisan Rail, he expressed happiness that farmers’ activities have not been affected even during the COVID lockdown and all the activities related to harvesting of Rabi crops and sowing of summer and Kharif crops have progressed in a satisfactory manner.
The first-mile arrangements including aggregation of consignments through FPOs, warehousing, setting-up of temperature-controlled storages, etc. shall be coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare
In order to serve the purpose of the farming community of the country, Kisan Rail shall be trains with multi commodities, multi-consignors and multi consignees. These trains shall run between fixed origin–destination pairs with en-route stoppages, and loading/ unloading shall be permitted at any of the en-route stoppage. The origin–destination pairs, routes, stoppages, and frequency of the train shall be decided jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Railways. Indian Railways will plan to run the trains accordingly.
The first-mile arrangements including aggregation of consignments through FPOs, warehousing, setting-up of temperature-controlled storages, etc. shall be coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. MoA&FW will also promote start-ups in agri-infrastructure, promotion of new FPOs and strengthening of existing FPOs for backward integration. The Ministry will provide details of production centres on the Kisan Special Routes along with seasonality of produce. MoA&FW shall also ensure that information regarding Kisan Rail is duly disseminated among all the stakeholders, such as mandis, farmers’ co-operatives, NGOs, etc. Action required for ensuring that adequate back-end infrastructure is available shall also be ensured by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.